Compostable packaging and data management solutions feature at waste expo

Food industry professionals had a chance to share ideas on data management solutions and sustainable packaging at the Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo (AWRE).

The expo, held on the 29th and 30th of August, aimed to challenge thinking about current waste standards and the future of waste disposal and recovery.

Exhibitors included companies that work with the food and beverage industry, such as ifm Efector, Source Separation Systems and DB Packaging.

Joshua Riley, from Source Separation Systems, showcased the company’s composting products.

READ: App takes bite out of food waste

The Kitchen Caddy is a container that houses compostable household waste, which can then be disposed of in a compost system or suitable council bins. The company also made a range of liners derived from corn that wasn’t fit for human consumption, Riley said.

“All the liners are Australian Certified compostable,” he said.

The liners left no plastic bits in the soil, like some biodegradable products did, he said. The ink used on the liners is soy based and also not toxic to the environment.

Riley said it was difficult getting people to change the way they thought about waste.

“It’s not rocket science. It’s not hard, but the challenge we face is that people don’t like change. Once you get their mind changed, it’s easy,” said Riley.

Rachel Beaver, educator and trainer at DB Packaging, also said people needed to change their mindsets.

DB Packaging makes compostable plates and bowls, and compostable transparent bags.

Many people used cling wrap to showcase the contents of a product, but there were other materials available, said Beaver.

“We don’t need cling wrap. We need to get people to change their minds,” she said.

“We are starting to work with different bodies to change consumers’ perceptions. Everyone has to be involved,” said Beaver.

Companies behind making products such as compostable containers and machinery used to deal with waste were also at the expo.

Ifm senior sales engineer Jason Woo said ifm provided mobile controls for hydraulic systems used by companies to lift bins and used for crushers, for example.

“The target market would be the machine builders for rubbish trucks,” he said.

Ifm also has a range of sensors that help with data management.

With effective data management people can see in real-time when machines need maintenance or when they are working overtime.

“It also monitors consumption so consumers can see what they are using too much of,” said Woo.

Being able to monitor machines easily, could help businesses save energy and save on costs, he said.

Everything waste-related was covered at the expo to materials, machinery and data solutions. The expo was held at the International Convention Centre at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

Ferrero & Nestle both get green ticks of approval from Greenpeace

Chocolate-maker Ferrero and food company Nestle have topped the global ranking for being tree—friendly with their commitment to stop using non-plantation palm oil in their products.

In its latest report, Greenpeace commended Ferrero, the Italian manufacturer of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella, as well as multinational food company Nestle on their track records to cut deforestation and completely remove non-plantation grown palm oil from their supply chains.

Out of the 14 global companies that were evaluated by Greenpeace, Ferrero for example was found to be able to trace almost 100 per cent of its palm oil to the actual planation where it was grown.

Nestle for its part was praised for its substantial traceability of its raw materials back to the plantation, which in itself is quite significant considering the amount of raw materials that Nestle uses year on year.

“Palm oil is found in so many products, which is why brands have a responsibility to their customers to act,” said Annisa Rahmawati of Greenpeace Indonesia – an area where deforestation for palm oil plantations poses a ‘major threat to endangered animals'. 

“Palm oil can be grown responsibly without destroying forests, harming local communities or threatening orangutans. But our survey shows that brands are not doing enough to stop the palm oil industry ransacking Indonesia's rainforests.”

On the other end of the green scale, Pepsi was given a failed ratings with its palm oil progress. According to Greenpeace, this was due to its slow progress on tracing palm oil and reducing exposure to deforestation.

PepsiCo, as well as food companies like Unilever were also criticised by Greenpeace for using the GreenPalm scheme, whereby companies buy certificates from a palm oil grower certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil to offset each tonne of the ingredient they use. 

While there is no guarantee the palm oil is actaully certified sustainable by using the GreenPalm scheme, Greenpeace went further to label the program a "false solution" and said companies should phase out their use of the certificates.

According to edie.net, the 14 companies reviewed by Greenpeace in this report are: Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Ferrero, General Mills, Ikea, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez, Nestle, Orkla, PepsiCo, P&G and Unilever.

Schneider Electric gets highest score ever for global sustainability

Food automation company, Schneider Electric has been recognised as one of the 2016 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, coming 12th overall and 1st in its GICS Industry. It’s the fourth year running the Group ranks among the top 15 corporations in the sustainability index by Corporate Knights, the magazine for clean capitalism, released every year at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Companies who make the Global 100 ranking are the top overall sustainability performers in their respective industrial sectors, selected from a starting universe of 4,353 listed companies with a market capitalisation greater than $USD2 billion on October 1, 2015. Schneider Electric ranks first its sector and is among the 11 French companies listed. The Global 100 is determined using 12 quantitative sustainability indicators, as the amount of revenue companies generate per unit of energy consumed for example.

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO, Schneider Electric commented, “With overall score up to 70.5% in 2016 from 68.4% in 2015, we have achieved our best Global 100 score ever, ranking 1st in our sector and demonstrating our commitment to put sustainable development at the heart of our strategy. Even so, we’ve dropped three places in the global ranking, which means that the overall standards have risen. That’s great news for everyone and invitation to increase our efforts.”

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