Perth hotel diverts food waste from landfill with BioBags

In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint, Parmelia Hilton Perth is using compostable bin liners to recycle food waste.

Using BioBags to recycle kitchen scraps diverts food waste from landfill to compost so it can be returned to the earth as nutrient-rich fertiliser.

Australia’s commercial and industrial sector, which includes hotels, restaurants, offices, retail and manufacturing, is the country’s biggest source of waste and landfill.

South Australian Research and Development Institute estimates 2.2 million tonnes of food is thrown out by the commercial and industrial sector every year.

Parmelia Hilton Perth is doing its bit to reduce waste by diverting plastic from landfill and by recycling food waste.

The hotel caters for events of up to 500 people, it has 284 guest rooms and a restaurant, so keeping minimising its carbon footprint is key.

The hotel still has food waste, but by sending it in BioBag compostable bags to a commercial compost facility less rubbish ends up in the landfill.

Scott Morton from Biobag World Australia said BioBags were a better alternative to plastic because they left no toxic residues.

“If it doesn’t make it into an organics recycling or compost bin, a BioBag will still break down into organic matter wherever there’s microorganisms and oxygen.”

BioBags also helped divert food waste from landfill with less mess and odours, Morton said.

“BioBags comply with the Australian Standard AS4736 so consumers can be sure they will biodegrade in any environment where microorganisms are active.”

Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland have piloted programs to turn food waste from commercial kitchens into compost or fertiliser.

The benefits to businesses include reduced waste to landfill fees.



Kid’s own national food recycling scheme launched

James and Monica Meldrum, founders of Whole Kids Australia have teamed up with global recycling company TerraCycle to developed Australia’s first national recycling system for kid’s food packaging.

Wholekids is stocked in major supermarkets and is aiming to up cycle wrappers of children snack foods including organic juice, popcorn and fruit bites.

Established in 2005, Whole Kids has grown to become one of the largest ranges of certified organic children snack food companies.  The program will encourage kids to up-cycle their food pouches and snack wrappers with the free recycling program.

“The Kids Pouch and Snack Brigade is an ideal solution to packaging waste that can’t be disposed of through general household recycling collections. This means that packaging pouches and wrappers from Whole Kids products can be recycled and upcycled into useful items,” Monica Meldrum said.

The recycling programs target is to help the wider community, once collecting over a kilogram of waste product, consumers receive two cents that then can be donate to a local playgroup, school or charity of your choice.

With similar programs run by TerraCycle in Europe and America, Whole kids are confident that this recycling program will be a huge success in Australia.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the support from households, schools and playgroups for this exciting new initiative, and encouraging and educating future generations about the importance of recycling,” Monica Meldrum concluded.

 “We kept over four billion pieces of waster from landfills around the world”, Anna Minns, TerraCycle Australia General Manager said.

 Visit to learn more or to join the Brigade program.

Woolworths commits to eliminate food waste

Woolworths has announced they will commit to eliminate food waste that is sent to landfill by 2020, and will begin a new partnership with Australia’s leading local food rescue organisation, OzHarvest.
The new partnership sees OzHarvest become the principal partner for Woolworths to collect and distribute edible food to people who are in need across Australia.
Woolworths will engage their network of farmers, producers, manufacturers, employees and customers to help minimise food waste as well as supporting OzHarvest’s educational campaigns on food waste reduction, such as Think.Eat.Save, an initiative partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The partnership forms part of a larger commitment by Woolworths to eliminate food waste, which includes seeing edible food waste distributed by a number of organisations like OzHarvest, and other waste used for animal feed, commercial compost and power generation.
Managing Director of Woolworths Food Co, Brad Banducci, said: 
“Our customers want to see us reducing our food waste. We’ll do that right through the supply chain from selling our odd bunch imperfect fruit and vegetables to donating food through OzHarvest, our other food rescue partners, and other initiatives like animal food and commercial composting.
“Our target remains ambitious but with great partners it is achievable,” he said.
OzHarvest’s CEO and Founder, Ronni Kahn, was thrilled at the Zero Food Waste by 2020 pledge from Woolworths.
“This commitment from Woolworths is a huge advance in our collective fight against food waste. This partnership will allow OzHarvest to divert even more surplus food from landfill and further help Australians in need, addressing the broader issues of food waste, sustainability and food security.”
Ms Kahn said the charity was pushing for yearly waste to be cut by half by 2025.
“We must all take responsibility for the 4 million tonnes of food Australians send to landfill each year. Woolworths’ commitment to Zero Food Waste 2020 shows that they are serious about helping our environment as well as those in need. Now is the time for all Australians to get on board and reduce food waste!” Ms Kahn said.


Olympus helps to reduce food waste

More than 13,000 meals were served as part of OzHarvest's ‘Think.Eat.Save’ food waste awareness day in July. The Australian food charity's campaign aims to highlight and raise public awareness of how much food is thrown away each year. 

OzHarvest is one of the charities supported by Olympus Australia and staff from the company's offices around Australia volunteered to help at this year's event which was simultaneously held in eight cities and two regional centres across the country. OzHarvest uses donated and surplus food from retailers and restaurants, and invites the public to enjoy a free and delicious hot meal made from the rescued produce while learning about food waste from some of the nation’s top chefs, politicians and celebrities.

“Olympus Australia has made a commitment to OzHarvest which allows us to direct resources to them so that our impact is more significant,” said Oliver Clarke, Communications Manager for Olympus Australia. “Our view is that we are partnered with them for the long term which makes the most effective use of the company and staff's support for activities in the wider community.” 

‘Think.Eat.Save’ was launched in July with tri-partisan support at Parliament House in Canberra and the free meals were provided at venues in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, the Gold Coast, Port Macquarie and the Sapphire Coast. High profile volunteers, such as chefs Neil Perry and Jost Bakker, assisted at functions to take a stance against food waste. Olympus staff helped serve the soup and desserts to lunchtime visitors in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The Olympus volunteers also helped set up the serving tents and clean up at the end of the day. 

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn said "Think.Eat.Save 2015 continues to highlight the disturbing amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world. Of the more than one billion tonnes of food produced for human consumption, approximately one third is wasted."

“Our modern day challenge is to create a sustainable food culture that can be shared by all, where we waste less at all levels of food production and distribution,” Kahn said.