In Composting

Global plastic production tallied 7.8 billion tonnes by 2015 — that’s more than one tonne for every person alive today. 

What if 1% of all plastic was made from plants so it could be given back to farmers to feed Australian soil?

Have you heard of the circular economy?

The circular economy is about recycling to recover valuable resources instead of wasting them. The current take-make-dispose industrial model loses resources to landfill.

Most of Australia’s food and garden waste ends up in landfill where it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, it could be turned into nutrient rich fertiliser by composting.

We recover resources from products like mobile phones and computers, so why can’t we recover valuable resources from food and organic waste to improve the health of our soil?

The circular economy model designs waste out of the system by using less finite resources and more renewable energy sources. It’s based on three principles:

1. Design out waste and pollution

2. Keep products and materials in use

3. Regenerate natural systems

The goods of today – the resources of tomorrow.

With creativity and innovation we can redesign things. This video explains how.

The Federal and State Governments have agreed all Australian packaging should be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

BioBag World Australia Director Scott Morton says this means changing our recycling habits and making council green bins more widely accessible.

“We’re in the habit of recycling via yellow-lid recycling bins. The introduction of council green bins means our food organic waste, along with compostable BioBags, can be recycled into valuable compost on a large scale at industrial composting facilities.

“Compost can be used to fertilise farms, gardens, parks and sporting fields. Mulch can be used to protect against weeds, reduce plant stress and save water in gardens, parks, orchards and vineyards,” Scott said.

“Using a BioBag with a kitchen compost caddy increases diversion of organic waste from landfill for recycling.

“Current research in South Australia is proving this.”

What is FOGO?

FOGO stands for Food Organic and Garden Organics. FOGO waste includes fruit and vegetable scraps, processed foods, meat, fish, chicken, bread, egg, egg shells, dairy products, coffee grounds and tea bags.

BioBags are the only type of bag that can go into FOGO bins because they’re fully compostable.

“Many councils are trialling or introducing FOGO collections services to send household organic waste to commercial composting facilities,” Scott said.

“Most of the greenhouse gas emissions from landfill come from decomposing organic material which could be recycled. Not only do food and garden organics produce methane as they decompose in landfill, but their nutrients remain locked in landfill and can’t be used again to grow plants and food.

“Composting FOGO waste is cheaper than sending it to landfill for councils, so rate payers benefit from extra funding for other community services,” Scott said.

Currently 100 Australian councils (around 20%) offer FOGO bins.

BioBag World Australia Director Scott Morton says we need the other 80% of councils around Australia to fast forward FOGO. So he’s starting a ‘LET’S GO FOGO’ campaign.

“We can help to move our local councils towards FOGO faster by talking to our local councillors.

“Contact your local Councillor and tell them you’re ready for a FOGO bin to collect your food waste,” Scott said.

YOU can help Australia move faster towards a circular economy.

Tell your local Councillor:

– Research shows about 60% of general household waste is food and garden organics.

– Diverting food waste from landfill with a FOGO bin service can: 

1. Reduce costs of landfill disposal,

2. Recycle organic waste into useful, natural fertiliser,

3. Achieve great environmental outcomes, and

4. Help conserve valuable resources.

When food waste breaks down in landfill it emits the greenhouse gas methane – which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The amount of greenhouse gases produced by food waste in Australian landfill each year is equivalent to the emissions of Australia’s steel and iron ore industries combined.

Post on social media and spread the word…

Ask people you know to contact their local Councillors too and post on social media using the hashtags:

#LetsGoFOGO #CompostNotLandfill #FastForwardFOGO #CouncilsThatFOGO

Compost at home in the meantime.

Until local council offers FOGO bins, see if your local council offers subsidised compost bins. 

BioBags break down in home compost bins at normal temperatures with the help of oxygen and microorganisms.

Not everyone has the time or space to compost at home, but if we each do our part to recycle our food waste, you’ll be helping the planet and you’ll have your own nutrient rich compost to add to your gardens.

Sources:

Global plastic production figures

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Australasian Bioplastics Association

RMIT University, Melbourne

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