BioPak has been awarded a grant from the Australian Government to support waste recovery in Australia as part of its National Product Stewardship Investment Fund.

BioPak will use the funding to develop and support its new nationwide programme, The Compost Network — which seeks to bring industry participants together to transform compostable packaging and food waste into nutrient-rich soil for businesses across the country.

Richard Fine, Founder of BioPak, said: “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.

“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.”

Australia’s 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.

He added: “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.”

Studies have revealed that 8 per cent 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.

Fine added: “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.”

BioPak launched Australia’s first compost collection service in 2018. The Compost Network is an evolution of this initiative, opening the platform to all participants in the industry.

The goal is to transform this service into an industry-led programme where foodservice businesses can collectively support the development of organic recycling in Australia.