From ABC News (10/11/23), an update on compostable packaging, FOGOs, and how complicated it all is…
Are compostable coffee cups actually any better for the environment?
Sold and marketed as environmentally friendly, compostable food packaging has been exploding in popularity in Australia.
The plant-based fibre and bioplastic packaging can now be found at thousands of cafes and takeaway shops, as well as supermarkets for use at home.
Many consumers are happy to swap single-use plastic for compostable packaging.
But is it really any better than the plastic it has replaced?
What is compostable packaging?
It is food packaging designed to break down into soil when put in a home composting bin, or industrial Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) plant — the place your green bins are emptied at.
It’s usually made from plants such as sugarcane, which are turned into paper-like materials or bioplastics.
Sometimes the packaging is both — a paper-like material, which is then lined with bioplastics to reduce liquids seeping through.