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Grant gives BioPak go-ahead for composting infrastructure expansion

Sustainability Matters

December 1, 2020

The Australian Government has announced $10.5 million in grants to support waste recovery in Australia, with 11 successful applicants to be awarded funding as part of the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund.

Grant winner BioPak will use the funding to develop and support its new nationwide program, The Compost Network — an initiative set to bring industry participants together to collaboratively transform compostable packaging and food waste into nutrient-rich soil for thousands of businesses across the country.

“We are excited to join forces with businesses in the packaging, foodservice and waste industry to help grow Australian organic recycling capabilities and instigate widespread change,” BioPak founder Richard Fine said.

“It is time to collaborate in order to overcome the challenges and harness the value and benefits that compostable packaging can provide.

“Compostable packaging is a proven, cost-effective solution to enable the recovery and recycling of food and packaging waste generated by the foodservice industry. Only through collaboration can we transform compostable materials from a niche initiative to a core pillar of a circular and sustainable economy, and we believe The Compost Network can help achieve this vision.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans said that the dial is shifting in Australia as people change their mindset about waste and look towards a more circular economy.

“BioPak’s new product stewardship scheme for organic waste and compostable packaging will reduce waste going to landfill, lift recycling rates and help foodservice businesses and consumers make a practical, positive difference for the environment,” Evans said.

An alarming statistic reveals that 8% of greenhouse gases are created by food waste. The foodservice industry in Australia contributes nearly 900,000 tonnes of organic waste, including an estimated 17 billion individual single-use foodservice disposables, which translates to more than 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste that could be recovered and diverted from landfills through organic recycling.

“We are calling on the support from the foodservice and foodservice packaging industry to take ownership and responsibility to ensure that their products are recovered and recycled,” Fine added.

BioPak launched Australia’s first compost collection service in 2018. The Compost Network is an evolution of this program, opening the platform to all participants in the industry in order to maximise the positive environmental impact. The goal is to transform this service into an industry-led program where foodservice businesses can collectively support the development of organic recycling in Australia.