• A new study in South Australia has shown that composting food waste and compostable packaging through council-provided kerbside FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics) bins is an effective waste management solution.
Source: BioPak
    A new study in South Australia has shown that composting food waste and compostable packaging through council-provided kerbside FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics) bins is an effective waste management solution. Source: BioPak
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A new study in South Australia has shown that composting food waste and compostable packaging through council-provided kerbside FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics) bins is an effective waste management solution.

Supported by BioPak, the research was a collaboration between Compost Connect and Edge Impact, focusing on understanding compostable packaging recovery outcomes and its impact on food waste and packaging diversion.

The report details seven key findings, highlighting the success of South Australia’s organics recovery system. One major takeaway is that certified compostable packaging does not negatively affect the quality of the resulting compost. 

“This report is an excellent step in the right direction, showcasing that composting food waste and compostable packaging is a viable option,” said Dr Thava Palanisami, associate professor at the University of Newcastle.

Gary Smith, a board member of Compost Connect, commented on the significance of these findings, “This research serves as inspiration for other states, territories, and countries around the world, highlighting the potential for large-scale composting initiatives to address our organic waste problem and create a nutrient-rich resource instead.” 

“Although there’s still work to be done to reduce contamination and ensure organic waste and packaging end up in the right place, South Australia’s research demonstrates the effectiveness of public education campaigns and action on a government level. This provides a promising pathway forward.”

Other findings include the success of South Australia’s organics recovery system, the effectiveness of government-led initiatives and policies, the need for public education on composting technology, the importance of preventing contamination through enforcement and industry collaboration, and the challenges of identifying compostable packaging.

The study also noted a two per cent contamination rate in kerbside FOGO bins, acknowledging it as a challenge to composting outcomes.

The report positions South Australia as a leader with its established systems, policies, and infrastructure to handle large volumes of FOGO. 

Jeffries, a leading commercial compost facility, is noted for its advanced recycling technologies and collection partnerships, which have the potential to be replicated at a national and global level.

The full report can be viewed here.

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