– by Richard Fine (Founder, BioPak)
When talking about innovation the story is usually quite simple, come up with an idea, figure out how to make it work and change the world. However, that is rarely how it actually happens. A more common narrative is, someone comes up with an idea but it never gets off the ground because no one is willing to accept it. The truth is that innovation is never a single event, but a process of discovery, refinement and transformation.
This is our story.
BioPak’s ground-breaking disposable coffee cups are recyclable, especially when compared to other disposable packaging, including milk cartons, according to new independent research.
The Chief Executive Officer of BioPak, Gary Smith, said that contrary to some of the misinformation in the public space, research commissioned by the company had confirmed that its disposable cups could be recycled commercially.
Let's face it: Australians are big coffee drinkers. In less than a generation, we have moved from a nation of sedate tea drinkers to a nation of coffee obsessives. We now judge our cities on just how good the coffee is. Or how many baristas they have.
Compostable packaging will replace conventional plastic packaging for foodservice applications. We cannot continue with the current status quo. The compost infrastructure in Australia will eventually meet the obvious demand and in the future when we enjoy a delicious meal served in compostable packaging we will look back and wonder why it took so long to solve such a simple problem.
BioPak would like to set the record straight – compostable packaging isn’t some fanciful idea we dreamed up in isolation to annoy the waste industry, as suggested by a recent article in the Age. It is part of a world-wide movement to reduce waste to landfill.
And contrary to attention grabbing headlines, our BioCups are recyclable in the paper recycling of many councils and compostable at many commercial facilities across Australia.
BioPak are a member of Public Place Recycling Scheme and are on the steering committee of new composting facilities study that surveyed 27 facilities across New Zealand to understand their experiences processing compostable food packaging, including compostable coffee cups. The results are promising! The study recommends clear identification of coffee cups, product innovation and investment in compost facilities.
The War on Waste TV series highlighted how few coffee cups are currently being recycled in Australia. There has been a big drive to switch to reusable cups and we applaud the initiative. It’s always best to reuse whenever possible.
Single use disposables do have a place and banning them is not a solution. An industry adoption of better design principles that consider the entire environmental and social impact of a product throughout its lifecycle is the answer.
A BioCup is produced from sustainably sourced paper – for every tree consumed another is planted! It is coated with a plant-based waterproof material which has a carbon footprint up to 70% lower than regular plastic used to coat most other paper cups. At BioPak we measure and completely offset all carbon emissions at each stage of the life cycle of our products from raw materials, production, distribution and disposal. And BioCup’s can be recycled and composted.