In a move designed to divert food scraps and food service packaging from landfill, Perth cafes are joining with BioPak, a leader in environmentally sustainable packaging. Under the service, customers can dispose of used coffee cups and BioPak compostable takeaway food packaging in specially designed collection bins. The compost bins are collected weekly and sent to commercial composting facilities to be processed into nutritious soil compost for gardens or farms.

BioPak founder, Richard Fine, said the aim of the service was to ensure that the environmental benefit of compostable, single-use disposable packaging could be maximised, helping customers in reducing the environmental impact of their business.

“In Australia, we send more than eight million tonnes of organic waste to landfill every year, including 1.5 million tonnes of food waste,” Fine said. “The problem with this is that when food waste decomposes in landfills, it releases methane, which is a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, resulting in enormous damage to our environment. Switching to compostable foodservice packaging, including compostable coffee cups, can divert much of this material from going to landfill.”

Earlier this year, Yelowas one of the first Perth cafés to sign up to the service. Since they joined up in June, they have diverted 33,095kg of waste from landfill and created 23 tonnes of compost.

Yelo’s owner, Mike Pond, said the service allows patrons to enjoy the convenience of disposable takeaway packaging, including coffee cups, while doing the right thing by the environment.

“This is a fantastic initiative, which we believe will help divert potentially tonnes of waste away from landfills and turned into composting that can be used for commercial-level agriculture – at no cost to our customers,” he said. “In fact, the composting service will save us more than 20 percent a year in waste bills.”