*This feature is not sponsored or paid for in any way by BioPak or any other invested party
We all love a good takeaway. What we hate is the disposable plastic packaging that usually comes with it. It’s one of those things that we accept as unavoidable when we order food, be it takeaway or delivery. As much as we try to keep and reuse the plastic packaging we get from our orders, we can only keep so much of these things in our kitchens. Also, when these often flimsy plastic containers break, they end up in landfill anyway.
So what can business owners do to address this problem? Surely, the only hygienic and secure way of serving up food and drinks is with plastic. Well, not exactly. Because B Corp certified packaging company BioPak offers sustainable food packaging “that doesn’t cost the earth.” They offer food service businesses the option to switch to plant-made food packaging supplies - from coffee cups to bowls and cutlery to bags.
Their disposable packaging is designed to “provide an affordable, hygienic, and aesthetically pleasing solution so customers can enjoy food on the go, without any negative impact on the environment.” Their products are also compostable and carbon neutral.
We love the idea and wanted to learn more about BioPak so we reached out to them and spoke to a brand representative.
BioPak is owned by parent company Duni AB.
INGREDIENTS & RAW MATERIALS
BioPak uses paper, sugarcane, wood, and PLA bioplastic as the main materials for their entire range.
The paper they use is Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) bleached fiber and the wood used for BioPak’s cutlery is made from FSC-certified Birchwood.
Sugarcane pulp is a rapidly renewable resource, extremely durable, lightweight, inexpensive, and biodegrades in 30-90 days once exposed to composting conditions. It is tasteless, odourless, has no harmful additives, and can be both heated up or frozen. The sugarcane pulp BioPak uses is certified home compostable to Australian AS5810 standards.
The PLA (polylactic acid or polylactide) bioplastic BioPak uses is an innovative plant-based plastic. It’s a “polyester derived from renewable biomass, typically from fermented plant starch, such as corn, cassava, sugarcane, or sugar beet pulp.” Just like normal plastic, it’s sturdy, clear, and perfectly suitable for serving cold food and drinks. It is compostable in a commercial facility (it will break down in 12 weeks) and research says the emissions associated with PLA production are 80% lower than emissions from the production of traditional plastic.
BioPak has more information about PLA on their website, but basically, BioPak uses PLA for these reasons:
You can learn more about PLA and why BioPak uses it on their website.
You can also read more about BioPak’s raw materials and which products they’re used in on their website.
SOURCING & PRODUCTION
BioPak is the first packaging company in Australia and New Zealand to become carbon neutral, with sustainable and responsible manufacturing at the core of their business. They only use “rapidly renewable and sustainably sourced materials” and select their production facilities based on “their ongoing commitment to reduce the environmental impact of their operations along with their willingness and ability to innovate.” All facilities are also certified to ISO14001 environmental standards.
They source their paper from managed plantations and the following suppliers: Stora Enso, WestRock, or Clearwater Paper - all committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Paper BioCups are made in Taiwan, in the third-largest cup production factory outside of the USA.
Their sugarcane pulp production facility that makes their takeaway containers, clamshells, plates, trays, and bowls is located in China and is ISO14001 certified.
The factory making their BioCutlery from FSC-certified birchwood has ISO9001 Quality Management System and ISO22000 Food Safety Management certifications.
All of BioPak’s products’ certifications and production facility details are also on their website.
PACKAGING & RECYCLING OPTIONS
BioPak offers a compost collection service for businesses using their products. Their team links up their clients to one of their compost partners who deliver them a new bin for this service and collect their organic waste for composting every week. This allows their clients to divert all their food and BioPak waste from landfill and instead send it to compost. They work with over 200 members and have diverted more than 940 tonnes of waste from landfill since launching this service.
And while BioPak products will decompose in well-managed home compost, they will decompose best in a commercial composting facility. BioPak also knows that a lot of their products may well end up in landfill, so they calculate and offset all carbon emissions associated with landfill disposal of all products they produce. This is how they stay carbon neutral.
GIVING BACK & ADVOCACY
BioPak, being B Corp certified, has “an obligation to preserve and protect the environment and give back and support the communities in which (they) operate.” They donate 7.5% of all profits to environmental restoration initiatives with Rainforest Rescue in Australia, Greenfleet in New Zealand, and community programs together with their charity partners.
One powerful measure to tackle climate change that BioPak also supports is tree planting. They have planted over 20,000 trees so far and have purchased over 5 hectares of threatened rainforest.
BioPak has been carbon neutral since 2010, but in 2019, they’ve taken the next step by becoming certified to Australian Government-backed standard, Climate Active (formerly NCOS). This officially certifies that BioPak has reached a state of achieving zero net emissions. They also publish a sustainability report on their website.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVITY
BioPak was not able to give us any data regarding workforce diversity, however, you can have a look at their team page on their website.
We think BioPak is a wonderful alternative to plastic packaging for food and drink businesses. And as someone who loves having food delivered to my home a few times a month, having the option to compost the packaging my food came in is great. Likewise, I’m probably more likely to be a repeat customer for a local place that uses sustainable packaging for their products. So, if you really think about it, it’s good for the business, good for the customer, and good for the environment if our takeaway came in sustainable packaging - win-win-win!
Share this with a friend who has a food and drinks business to encourage them to switch to a more sustainable alternative! And if you are an entrepreneur with a food or drinks business or thinking of starting one, go have a look at BioPak’s catalogue and consider using a more sustainable alternative to plastic packaging.
BioPak is available in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK