Did you know that many Australian councils are recycling paper cups? There is much confusion and many questions regarding this topic and we’d like to help set the record straight. The lack of clarity seems to stem from certain recycling facilities claiming they are unable to process paper cups on their equipment. However, these facilities accept milk cartons and juice cartons which are made from the very same materials as paper cups – that is, paper with a thin layer of plastic lining (poly-coating) to make it waterproof. Milk and juice cartons are accepted in co-mingled domestic and recycling almost everywhere. So why not paper cups?
This has been a battle that environmental packaging gurus, BioPak, have been fighting since their inception 11 years ago. They have made some good headway but there is a long road ahead. BioPak’s PLA-lined paper hot cups differ to poly-coated cups and are currently the best eco-friendly option on the market. They are not only made from sustainably-sourced paper with a plant-based waterproof lining (PLA), they are also compostable in a commercial compost facility.
According to BioPak, the only proven technical and commercially viable long-term solution, not only for paper cups but all single use food service disposables, is to produce them in a way that aligns with and supports the emerging circular economy – that is the model of take, make, dispose. To manufacture products from sustainably sourced, abundant, rapidly renewable, non-toxic materials that return nutrients back into the cycle after disposal. You can view their paper hot cup range on our website.
12,000 tons of coffee cups end up in Australian landfills every year, taking over 50 years to decompose. Raising awareness that this resource is recyclable will help to reduce that figure. Contact your local council to find out whether they recycle paper cups.
Many countries around the world have placed a tax on lightweight/single use plastic bags and some countries have even banned them completely. The results of these measures have seen significant decreases in single use bags, for example, Ireland, who began charging customers for plastic bags in 2002, saw a 90% reduction in usage and litter after the tax was put into effect. Recently, the European Union has said that it wants to see an 80% drop in plastic bag use by 2019, which means that all European countries will need to be on board.
Australia is going down the same path with plastic bag bans in place in Tasmania, South Australia, Canberra and the Northern Territory. Supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles have pledged to be single-use bag free from 20th June this year, with 12 Woolworths stores opting to take the plunge early and going bag-free last week. In NSW, these stores were Woolworths Marayong, Greenway Village, Dural and Mullumbimby. It would be easy to imagine that a total ban could be on the horizon for Australia.
With all this action in mind, along with the ever-growing collective conscience of Australian people around waste reduction, there’s no time like the present to consider your own personal and business practices around environmentally friendly packaging. Sydney Packaging has a huge range of the latest eco-friendly packaging – from wide-base paper bags for home delivery, to compostable straws and takeaway containers and recyclable PET cups, bowls, clams etc. You name it, we’ve probably got it.
An increasing number of school canteens are now making the switch to eco-friendly food packaging options. This welcome move seems to be generated from parent and student interest in education and programs about living sustainably. School veggie patches and native beehives are becoming part of many school’s landscapes.
Fortunately, the ever-growing range of attractive and fit-for-purpose eco-friendly packaging seems to meet most of the needs of school canteens. And while compost services to dispose of commercially compostable packaging are still in their fledgling stages in many parts of Australia, eco-friendly packaging is still an excellent alternative to non-sustainably sourced paper or petroleum-based products like plastic. So, even if a compostable product ends up in landfill, it has at least been made from sustainably-sourced materials and will biodegrade in the ground (if made from pulp) or remain inert in the ground (if made from plant-based plastic (PLA).
We’re enjoying learning more about incorporating eco-friendly alternatives into school canteens. But the best part of this gig is the opportunity to observe all the amazing learning and gorgeous children who will become the future leaders of this great country.
If you’ve been thinking of ways to build your brand, it might be worth considering whether custom printed packaging is right for you. In a competitive market place with so many businesses vying for your customer’s attention, having your brand in their hand (literally) could give you the edge you need.
Professionally designed artwork printed on good quality packaging can leave a lasting impression on a customer by increasing their awareness of your brand and subsequently retaining loyalty.
Eco-friendly packaging products. Where to begin?! What does it mean if the plastic is PET, PP or PLA? What products really are recyclable? Or compostable vs degradable vs biodegradable – what’s the difference? So much to know!!
Our team have done the homework so you don’t have to and we’re already helping loads of our customers navigate eco product terminologies. Here we’ll decipher a few product materials and let you know their eco credentials.