Everyday Enviro with Elise - Making change with home-compostable packaging

Everyday Enviro with Elise - Making change with home-compostable packaging

By Elise Catterall  February 11th, 2020

Elise looks into why home and community composting is one of the most powerful things we can do as individuals and households to reduce our environmental footprint.


Many Australian households have embraced home and community composting (for example Sharewaste, or community gardens) for the many environmental benefits it offers.

As a quick recap, these benefits include diverting organic waste from landfill, which in turn prevents methane emissions (significantly more detrimental to climate change than carbon dioxide emissions) and prevents leachate that can pollute ground water and our waterways; suppressing plant disease and pest infestations, reducing the need for chemical aids; and enriching soil quality and moisture level, which in turn facilities sequestration of carbon, reduces our need to water and encourages new growth, among others.

Home and community composting is one of the most powerful things we can do as individual households to mitigate some of our environmental impact. Commercial composting has similar benefits (check out this video), but here I’m focussing on households.

We readily think of home/community composts as an avenue to dispose of food organics and garden organics (FOGOs) like our fruit and veg scraps and lawn trimmings, for example, but the exiting thing is that our home/community composts are capable of breaking down much more than simple food stuffs and garden clippings. This has led to some exciting developments that use our own composts for non-FOGO kitchen and household waste, particularly around the creation of home compostable packaging and other single use items.

Manufacturers have run with this, painstakingly developing materials that breakdown in simple home-based systems to create items to replace existing single use plastic products. You may already be familiar with some of these items, eg, single use wooden cutlery, that are home compostable, but the range of items is broadening all the time. Moving away from single use plastics and allowing us to manage our own disposal of single use items, could take so much burden off our recycling system, with the potential that it will work more efficiently in managing other recyclables, like glass. It is a clear win.

Melbourne based company, The Vegan Dairy, which creates delicious vegan cheeses (and other delicacies) this week is launching their new home compostable packaging. In their Instagram post announcing the shift, they describe the long and difficult undertaking it has been to develop a solution that makes all their products entirely plastic free.

This demonstrates serious commitment to their consumers and to the planet, and, for me, it would absolutely influence my purchasing decisions (if I didn’t already love their products).

The Vegan Dairy is not the only company who have made such an investment for the sake of our environment - the ABC recently highlighted the plant-based snack bar company We Bar None, who have made a similar commitment to create waste free snack options, with the founder spending her entire life savings in doing so. These are the values and actions I want to support as a consumer.

See you next time! - Elise

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


By Elise Catterall

Elise is a writer, photographer, and naturopath with a passion for nature. She completed a Master of Public Health in 2017 through the University of Sydney. Her photographic work focuses on flowers and plants as a way of celebrating nature. She has been writing for Planet Ark since 2017, sharing positive environment stories, personal environmental experiences and perspectives.

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