Currently, only 3 percent of plastic bags used in Australia are recycled. On average, Australians produce 3 million tonnes of plastic each year and up to 130,000 tonnes will find its way into the ocean.
You can help reduce plastic and and increase diversion of food waste from landfill at the same time.
Market Fresh SA’s independent fruit and vegetable retailers have trialled offering customers a compostable alternative to a plastic produce bag.
The Adelaide Farmers’ Market is transitioning to 100 percent compostable BioBags and the House of Health at Adelaide Central Markets also offers shoppers compostable produce bags instead of plastic produce rolls.
Compostable is the only type of bag that won’t break down into microplastics.
Some of our customers bring a roll of BioBags to the shops to avoid wasting plastic, then put the used BioBags into their council green bin. If you don’t have a council green bin that accepts food waste you can always compost them at home.
Research shows compostable produce rolls increase organics recycling.
Adelaide’s City of Holdfast Bay has trialled distributing compostable bags for household food waste collection via two local supermarkets with funding from Green Industries SA.
Compostable bags replaced plastic produce rolls in Foodland’s fruit and vegetable sections and customers were asked to reuse the bags to collect food scraps for the council’s green bins.
The trial resulted in 117% more food being diverted from landfill to green organics recycling bins – the equivalent of 0.48kg more per household per week. Diverting an estimated 260 tonnes more food waste from landfill would save the local council tens of thousands of dollars in annual landfill levies.
The trial showed buying fresh produce in compostable bags then used to recycle food waste:
✅ Reduces the amount of plastic generated and the amount of plastic that could enter the environment.
✅ Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the amount of food waste diverted from landfill.
✅ Grows the circular economy by increasing the volume of organics processed at local facilities.
✅ Creates new jobs at local organics recycling facilities.
Most customers surveyed during the trial said they would be willing to pay up to 5c more for a compostable produce bag at their local store.
If you agree, please ask your local retailers to go compostable. It’s time to say no to plastic.