Why we’re phasing out plastic

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a mountain of landfilla mountain of landfill

The problem with conventional plastic

Finite fossil resources, from which conventional plastics are derived, have been linked to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. In addition, following China’s ‘National Sword’ policy restricting the import of foreign recycling and waste, our plastic pollution crisis will rapidly worsen unless we take action.

The big problem with plastic packaging in the food service industry is that once it’s been contaminated with food scraps, it’s very unlikely to get recycled. Their small size and the food contamination makes them unwanted items by recyclers. This means that they will end up in landfill or incinerated.

recycling logo with tonnes of plastic in the backgroundrecycling logo with tonnes of plastic in the background

Why BioPak is phasing out plastic

By 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean. In Australia alone, 3.1 million tonnes of plastic is sent to landfill every year, with only 9.4% of all plastics recovered1. Globally, 91% of plastic materials created and distributed around aren’t recycled.

With conventional plastic derived from finite fossil resources linked to climate change and a mounting plastic pollution crisis, now is the time to switch to plant-based packaging designed for the circular economy.

There is no ‘Planet B’, and that ‘s why BioPak is taking action to phase out conventional plastic made from finite fossil resources from our products and our outer packaging (product sleeves) and replacing it with plant-based alternatives. In the past, we’ve included PET and PS plastic in our range of lids where there was no viable alternative. While PET and PS plastic are, in theory, recyclable, this doesn’t automatically make them a ‘good’ packaging material.

Our goal is to grow awareness and demand for sustainable packaging solutions that are designed for a circular economy. By designing packaging made from renewable materials that can be composted into nutrient rich soil along with food scraps, we eliminate the concept of waste and help create a new resource.

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PLA as an alternative

We are constantly striving to eradicate single-use conventional plastic within the market by making plant-based packaging designed for a circular economy more accessible. We have made a public commitment to phase out plastics made from finite fossil resources like PS (Polystyrene), PE (Polyethylene), and PET from our portfolio by 2025. Instead, we’re opting for rapidly-renewable resources and materials like PLA, otherwise known as polylactic acid.

PLA is a bioplastic made from starchy plants like corn or beets. Our PLA bioplastic packaging range is certified compostable in an industrial composting facility, which means it doesn’t have to end up in landfill.

The impact of bioplastics on the environment significantly reduced compared to conventional plastics, as they are made from rapidly renewable resources. Their carbon footprint also tends to be smaller. For instance, IngeoTM PLA resin has a Co2 footprint approximately 75% smaller than PP or PET (source). They’re also a great way of diverting more food scraps from landfill, as they can be composted along with organic waste.

new plastic economy logonew plastic economy logo

Signatories of the new plastics economy

We are committed to fighting the plastic pollution crisis by coming together with like-minded individuals and companies in order to accelerate change for good. Which is why we’ve become signatories of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment (NPEGC) established by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Coming out of the UK, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation seeks to inspire a new wave of thinking to design and achieve a circular economy.

The NPEGC report underlined the growing concerns with plastic waste and highlighted that consumer goods companies and retailers will commit to increasing recycled content in their packaging to an average of 25% by 2025, compared to the current global average of just 2%. Alongside BioPak, signatories included international enterprises that represent 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally.

Already, the driving force for change is in motion. BioPak fully supports the move towards creating our circular economy. By joining the NPEGC, we’re committed to developing compostable bio-based alternatives to conventional non-recyclable plastic packaging, and working with industry and councils to ensure products are recycled and composted properly. (source)

NZ plastic packaging declarationNZ plastic packaging declaration

New Zealand’s Plastic Packaging Declaration

2018 saw us sign New Zealand’s Plastic Packaging Declaration – we’re committed to creating and distributing compostable alternatives made from rapidly renewable, sustainably sourced materials in order to phase out plastic. Led by New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment, alongside other signatories, we’ve committed to using 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025 if not earlier. (source)

Our NZ commitments see us move closer towards our goal of zero waste and phasing out conventional plastic, as we join a like-minded governing body in its goal to raise awareness and distribute sustainable alternatives, educate consumers and brand owners on the damages of single-use plastics, and work towards creating a closed-loop circular economy with waste collectors and the recycling industry to ensure products are recycled or composted correctly (source).

Our mission to phase out plastic

For over ten years, BioPak has been shaking up the industry with sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics and foodservice packaging. Since 2010, we have offset 136,154 tonnes of CO2 emissions with our products and operations. (source)

From 2025, 100% of our carbon neutral packaging will be made from rapidly-renewable and responsibly-sourced plant-based materials. We intend to provide full transparency on our progress and keep working together with governing bodies and like-minded organisations to make it happen. We are also committed to educate the public to help create a circular economy.