Tagged "Sustainability news"
Seeing the words "compostable" and "biodegradable" on products is starting to become more common. We're seeing it on everything from iPhone cases to bin-liners (and even coffee pods....can you believe it :)).
As simple and as common as the terms "compostable" and "biodegradable" are, the actual implications vary widely. There are many different certifications for compostability and biodegradability and each certification has different requirements. A few common certification standards are the TUV Austria (TUV OK) and Australian Standards (AS).
If you live in Australia, buying Australian Certified Compostable products, vs. International Certified, means that Australian waste facilities can properly process the product you bought.
The ability to dispose of a product properly is as import as the materials the product is created from.
This means that products without Australian Certifications are (mostly) destined for landfill. While ending in landfill is definitely not the point of compostable products, it is important to note that most will breakdown in landfill faster than products made from metals or traditional plastics, as well as they're typically made from more renewable resources.
Here's two examples to illustrate the point more clearly of what happens to Australian Certified Bioplastics vs. European Certified:
Example 1 - European Certified: An Adelaide resident throws a European Certified Compostable Coffee Pod in their household green bin. That pod reaches the facility, is filtered out of the compost stream, and then is sent to a landfill.
Example 2 - Australian Certified: An Adelaide resident throws a AS4736 certified compostable product (such as Tripod Coffee pod) into their household green bin. That pod enters the composting process, transitions into a fertiliser, then goes on to help Australian farmers grow more crops.
So, when you're buying your next sustainable product, look for the Seedling Logo and a certification that begins in "AS".
Here's our Seedling logo
Eliminating coffee pod waste has never been easier for Adelaide residents.
Our AS 4736 Commercial Compost Certification means we’re the only pods accepted in the Greater Adelaide's Green Bins.
The challenge of 'compostable goods' and organic waste is making sure it ends in a proper facility.
The Adelaide FOGO Program.
Through coordination with two primarily organics wastes facilities, Jeffries and Peats, over 20 councils in the Greater Adelaide have been able to coordinate their green bin collection to accommodate for food, garden and other Australian certified bio-plastic waste.
For more information on the City of Adelaide Organics Recycling Program: https://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/resident/home-management/recycling-waste/organic-waste/
Australia’s waste management challenge:
While the nature of the business seems quite simple; we buy, we throw in a bin, our waste goes away, the reality of ensuring that it is appropriately processed is much more challenging.
After you put your bin on the curb, there’s much more than meets the eye, and based on what your council or building has arranged, your best course of action may be different.
A typical waste management process includes: Waste collection services, waste transfer stations, waste drop off operations (landfills), waste recovery operations (recycling centres and organics composting facilities). Each operator at each stage with different processing capabilities.
See the *table below for a taste of just how many companies are involved in what sounds like a simple industry.
Hats off to you Adelaide
Again, congratulations to the Greater Adelaide area for enabling their residents to easily compost of their certified bioplastics (like Tripod Coffee pods) and other sources of organics waste.
*AS 4736 Certification: https://www.bioplastics.org.au/certification/the-seedling-logo/