Biopak gives back

BioPak’s vision is a world without waste. Through its compost service, BioPak hopes to offer a circular economy solution that treats foodservice packaging and food scraps as resources, not waste.

BioPak is working with cafés and restaurants to spread awareness of its simple composting solution and encourage a behavioural change around packaging and waste.

In December 2017, the foodservice packaging company began studying waste, where it was going, and what it was doing to the environment. From its surprising research, BioPak found the foodservice and hospitality sector sends more than 900,000 tonnes of organic waste to landfill.

BioPak started speaking with café owners about the amount of waste they were producing and how its compost service could help manage that waste.

As a result, 18 months ago BioPak launched its compost service, designed to close the loop and divert waste from landfill.

“Compostable packaging is the most logical solution for cafés and restaurants. It allows food waste, along with the packaging, to be disposed of in one bin. We have created a simple solution that is easy and cost effective for any café to implement,” says Gary Smith, BioPak CEO.

The BioPak Compost Service collects compostable cups and lids, packaging, food scraps, and organic waste in the same bin. Working with its composting partners, it then transforms the materials into nutrient-rich compost in eight to 12 weeks.

“We felt compelled to close the loop and leverage organic recycling, a solution that is already available. We are not reinventing the wheel – we are simply connecting the waste collection contractors with the commercial compost facilities to provide them with a valuable feedstock for their business,” Gary says.

BioPak’s goal is to reduce the environmental impact of single-use disposable packaging using circular economy principles. Gary says the amount of food waste being sent to landfill and plastics ending up in our oceans is contributing to global warming and damaging ecosystems on a scale that has never been seen before.

“The back of house operations in cafés and restaurants generate a significant volume of organic waste. The real problem is most of that waste currently ends up in landfill, where it releases greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming. Now, it can be converted into compost used to regenerate and return valuable nutrients to the soil,” Gary says.

He adds that the early days of launching BioPak’s composting service weren’t smooth, as local councils were unwilling to provide support or funding. Eventually, they collaborated with independent waste collection contractors and industrial compost facilities that could take organic material and convert it into compost.

“We started in Sydney where we worked with a local organic waste collection company and a compost partner in Wollongong. Initially, we only serviced 100 postcodes. Twelve months later, the service is available to more than 2200 postcodes, is in almost every major metropolitan city, and has more than 300 cafés signed up,” Gary says.

“Composting organic, plant-based products diverts organic materials from landfill and reduces emissions. The composters are happy with the high quality material they receive from us in the form of food scraps that are rich in nutrients. What was once waste is now a value-add product in the form of compost that improves the quality of the soil and reduces the foodservice industries carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.”

BioPak offers plant-based compostable single-use packaging designed for a circular economy as an alternative to conventional plastic foodservice packaging derived from fossil resources. This includes packaging made from rapidly renewable sustainably sourced materials that are non-toxic throughout their lifecycle. Its products are certified carbon neutral and can be composted after use.

“Our vision is to develop a closed loop circular solution that diverts valuable resources from landfill, to be reused and repurposed, and make it available to everybody,” Gary says.

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