Australia’s first national composting network is launching this month, an online platform that connects foodservice businesses with industrial composters nationwide. The network aims to reduce the one million tonnes of organic waste created by Australia’s foodservice industry every year, which is the weight of nearly 19 Sydney Harbour Bridges.

Ambassador Neil Perry, who will be using the service for his new sustainably focused restaurant, Margaret, opening in Double Bay this June, has grave concerns for the future of Australia and is calling for others in the hospitality sector to take accountability for the waste they bring into the world.

Perry explains, “I’m scared for what the world might look like for my children and children’s children. If we don’t act now, we’re going to end up in a really awful situation. Sadly, it’s unsurprising that the foodservice industry creates so much waste, however, we still have the opportunity to change this if we make transformations now.”

“As a country, we need to re-think our processes and start thinking of the bigger picture. We need to work together to address the problem, reduce organic waste and contribute to achieving a better society for future generations. This initiative is going to change how the foodservice industry operates for the greater good of our country.”

Global bar consultant and bartender, Matt Whiley, is also joining the movement through his new South Eveleigh venue and the world’s first permanent no-waste bar, Re. Whiley adds, “It’s never been more important to recognise that we all have a responsibility to make changes now that are desperately needed to shape our future for the better. We’ve developed Re with an overriding commitment to sustainability with a minimal-waste mentality and so this new composting network, is going to help us maintain this ethos by diverting any waste created from landfill to compost.”

Officially launching this month, the network already services over 2,200 postcodes, with the aim to increase to over 4,000 postcodes. Through its trials, Compost Connect has already diverted more than 4,500 tonnes of organics and packaging from landfill, processing into nutrient-rich composts in less than 12 weeks, an amount that is set to significantly increase in the next few years.

Compost Connect board member and BioPak CEO, Gary Smith explains,

“With Australia’s goal to halve its food waste by 2030, we need to instigate widespread change throughout the foodservice industry. It’s time that businesses collaborate together to overcome the challenges to create a circular and sustainable economy and we believe that this network can help achieve this vision.”

For more information on Compost Connect please visit: www.compostconnect.org

For more information, interviews and imagery, please contact:

Tierney Kelman, // Papaya PR // tierney@papayapr.com.au // 0434 259 798

 

The Australian Government National Plastics Plan published in 2021 undertook to “Phase out plastic packaging products with additive fragmentable technology that do not meet relevant compostable standards (AS4736-2006, AS5810-2010 and EN13432)(July 2022)’’. This was taken to include so called biodegradable and compostable products. In effect, this inferred equivalence of EN13432 to the Australian Standards.

In discussion with the office of the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, our President with support from the ABA Executive requested that only AS4736 – 2006 and AS5810-2010 should apply as EN13432 is not equivalent to either AS4736-2006 or AS5810-2010, both of which are more stringent with an additional worm toxicity test which was considered absolutely necessary by the working groups that wrote both Australian Standards, to protect Australia’s agricultural and horticultural soils.

We are pleased to advise that the National Plastics Plan has now been revised. Please visit the site http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste/plastics-and-packaging/national-plastics-plan where you find the following footnote.

*Please note that since the release of the Plastics Plan the home and industrial compostable standards have been updated to reflect the Australian Standard determined by the Australasian Bioplastics Association verification scheme. The phase out listed on page 5 of the Plastics Plan should now read:

  • Phase out plastic packaging products with additive fragmentable technology that do not meet relevant compostable standards (AS4736-2006 and AS5810-2010) (July 2022)

 

The ABA is working to have the term industrial compostable changed to commercial compostable and the term Australian Bioplastics Association changed to Australasian Bioplastics Association.

The welcomed change protects and enhances the investment in and commitment to the ABA verification programme by members and others in having their products verified to the requirements of AS4736-2006 and AS5810-2010, the awarding of a Certificate of Conformance and optional licensed use of the ABA logos. The Australian Government National Plastics Plan makes it clear that only the Australian Standards are relevant for the organics recycling of plastics packaging. The benefits of having a Certificate of Conformance to the requirements of the Australian Standards issued by the ABA are demonstrated by this support in the Australian Government National Plastics Plan.