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Home » Circular Economy » Compostable bioplastics help food businesses move to circular packaging

Rory Hogarty

Managing Director, BioBag Ireland UK

Keith Molloy

Managing Director, Molloys Butchers, Ardkeen

Innovations in compostable bioplastics can help food businesses to remove traditional plastics from shelves in support of the circular economy.

Compostable bag producer BioBag has, for example, partnered with Molloys Butchers in Ardkeen Waterford to launch the first bioplastic cling film. It is an entirely compostable, commercial-grade alternative certified for disposal in domestic food waste bins. Compostable waste is turned into fertile compost —a soil improver, which further sustains food production. 

Compostable bioplastic wrap can replace plastic on food packs 

Compostable bioplastic film allows Molloys Butchers to ‘close the circle’ by providing customers with fully recyclable tray packs, wrapped in 100% compostable film, while not compromising quality or functionality, says owner Keith Molloy.  

“The whole idea of plastic film is to keep products fresh, and the compostable wrap equivalent works equally well to keep the trays sealed while still looking good,” says Molloy. “Our customers have embraced this sustainable approach and are onboard in using compostable products or reusable packaging.” 

Using recyclable packaging, compostable bags
and food wrap helps bring a new
way of thinking to the fore.

When making the switch to bioplastic compostables, food businesses should choose certified products from a specialist supplier; one who places equal emphasis on solving environmental problems and promotes sustainable consumption.  

BioBag products, for example, are certified to most global standards including EN13432. They are also recognised by Cré, The Composting Authority of Ireland as suitable for disposal in domestic food waste collections. Retailers can be confident that these products comply with EU legislation on packaging waste and compostables.  

Feeding Irish soil. Grow more, waste less.

Bioplastics are good for business and the environment 

Working with Italian research company Novamont, BioBag has developed a compostable, food-safe film, says Rory Hogarty, the company’s MD in Ireland. Food businesses worry that adopting compostables will be prohibitively costly and complicated.  

However, he explains: “To minimise waste, it was essential that our bioplastic alternative works in the automatic and manual wrap machines already in use by supermarkets and food producers. This took time to perfect but is now like-for-like in terms of ‘cling.’ Likewise, our bioeconomy approach ensures that our non-food, plant materials and our production chain — from farmer to factory — are renewable and sustainable.” 

For businesses, using compostables brings a range of benefits including extending the shelf life of perishable products, reducing food waste and supporting customers with recycling. It allows companies to meet the increasing demands of customers who are adopting more sustainable consumption practices when food shopping.  

Molloy adds: “Using recyclable packaging, compostable bags and food wrap helps bring a new way of thinking to the fore. It encourages sustainable behaviours and gets people thinking about other areas in their day-to-day where they could reduce waste.” 

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