MELBOURNE, Australia -- BASF and Zero Waste Australia (ZWA) will present the detailed findings from the first phase of their Cooperating on Organics Out of Landfill (COOL) project at the Zero Waste Summit, which will be held in Melbourne from August 15 - 17, 2011. The first phase of the project consisted of a waste stream audit and pilot composting system targeting the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) in New South Wales.
"The audits from the COOL project confirmed that there are significant organic waste streams in the MIA that are suitable for collection with compostable plastics in the commercial and industrial sectors. Such plastics offer valuable functionality, great environmental and economic benefits because they can remain in the organic waste stream. Accordingly, we are confident that we can now move on to the next stage of the project, which will see the development of more composting systems for municipal, commercial and industrial organic waste in the MIA," said Rowan Williams, Business Director, Australia and New Zealand, Plastics, BASF.
Aside from the use of compostable plastics for waste bags and shopping bags, compostable packaging was identified as a further opportunity as it can be disposed of together with organic waste and food residues.
The audit assessed and quantified organic waste streams across a wide range of organizations, including supermarkets, food producers and restaurants. It also examined the supply and management logistics related to such waste. The audit was conducted from late 2010 and the final report was completed in May 2011. Another scaled up pilot composting system for organic waste also commenced outside Leeton. The progress of the pilot and subsequent scale up in Leeton will be presented at the Zero Waste Summit and the final results of the pilot composting systems are expected in September 2011.
Christopher A. Bradlee, Market Development Manager, North America, Biodegradable Plastics, BASF, a keynote speaker on the topic "Total Economic Value of Composting results of a Life Cycle Analysis" during the Zero Waste Summit said "Reducing the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills will assist in reducing greenhouse emissions and extending the productive life of landfills. Diverting organic waste to composting sites also recovers nutrients that would otherwise be lost to landfills, returning them to the soil as nutrient rich compost that can help to improve soil quality and water retention, reduce fertilizer use and assist in the remediation of carbon deficient soil."
BASF Ecovio for compostable waste bags
Compostable waste bags made with BASF Ecovio®, a compound of Ecoflex® and polylactic acid, help to efficiently and hygienically collect organic waste so that it can be processed under defined conditions at industrial composting facilities to produce high quality compost.
When organic waste and compostable packaging are contained in compostable waste bags, it is not necessary to separate the bags from waste or packaging: these can be processed under defined conditions at industrial composting facilities to produce high quality compost.
BASF is one of the world's leading chemical companies. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of about Euro 63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year.