Within the food service industry, there are copious amounts of waste thrown out each day – food containers and cups one of the largest culprits – and the majority ends up in landfill. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do, so it made sense to align ourselves with Biopak, a business focused on environmentally friendly food packaging. We sat down with the CEO of Biopak, Gary Smith, to discuss how his business is tackling the ever-growing problem of single use, disposable packaging.
Tell us a little about BioPak and what lead you to start the business?
BioPak was founded with the intention of disrupting an industry that was ripe for change, and a significant contributor to the degradation of the environment in the products it produced and the resources it consumed. We believe there is a better way of doing things. That’s why all of our packaging is made from responsibly sourced plant-based materials, designed for a circular economy and carbon neutral from resource to disposal.
It starts with responsibly sourced materials, continues with environmentally certified manufacturing processes, and ends with nutrient-rich compost that can be used to regenerate soil, grow new plants and help fight climate change.
What are some of the benefits of BioPak products?
BioPak produces more sustainable alternatives to disposable single-use packaging for the foodservice industry, offering compostable packaging solutions made from rapidly renewable, plant-based raw materials. All BioPak products are carbon neutral – meaning all the carbon emissions associated with the production, transport and disposal of our products has been offset. And all manufacturing facilities are certified to local and international environmental standards.
BioPak designs products for a circular economy – where there is no waste. Products are certified either home or commercially compostable, and this year, in a bid to reduce impact BioPak launched its own Compost Service in Australia and New Zealand – a recycling revolution designed to close the loop, divert waste from landfill, and stop plastic pollution. More than just going plastic-free, BioPak's compostable packaging and compost collection service close the loop on waste which means we can all join the movement towards zero waste.
What are some of the other initiatives is BioPak involved with?
As a responsible business and a certified B Corporation, we have an obligation to preserve and protect the environment and to give back and support the communities in which we operate. We donate our time, energy and 7.5% of all profits to environmental restoration initiatives with Rainforest Rescue in Australia and Forest & Bird in New Zealand, and community programs in conjunction with our charity partners listed below.
These initiatives and programs contribute to the welfare of less fortunate individuals and help accelerate the transition to a circular economy by promoting sustainability, economic development and self-sufficiency. We also produce a BioCup Art Series to promote artists whose work raises awareness and reconnects consumers with the environment. Through our Art Series cups range we have raised awareness for Missing Persons Australia by publishing the details of missing persons on our cups.
To date, what has been the biggest achievement for Biopak?
Plant-based compostable packaging is the first step towards zero waste with the next step being the introduction of industrial composting to close the loop and address the broader issue of food waste ending up in landfill. In 2018, we launched our own compost collection service to provide our customers with an organic recycling program to divert our packaging, along with food scraps and organic waste, from landfill.
“We accept responsibility for all stages in the lifecycle of our products,” says Gary Smith, Managing Director of BioPak. “We’re not about being ‘less bad’. Instead, we’re creating products that reflect a ‘cradle to cradle’ lifecycle rather than a ‘cradle to grave’ lifecycle.” More than just a cup recycling scheme, the BioPak Compost Service can divert up to 60% of your total waste from landfill, and collects compostable cups and lids, compostable packaging, food scraps and organic waste all in one bin — no separation required.
Since its launch, the BioPak Compost Service has expanded to more than 2,000 postcodes around Australia and New Zealand. Throughout the program, over 660,000 kilograms of organic waste has been diverted from landfill and more than 6,000 bags of nutrient-rich compost has been created.
What’s next for BioPak?
Innovation is at the heart of the BioPak business. We take our customer feedback seriously and work tirelessly to make our packaging solutions even more environmentally friendly whether that means trialing new materials or launching our compost collection service to new areas. We have some new product lines on the horizon, and some innovative updates to current products. Watch this space.
To find out more about Biopak, click here.