Holdfast Bay Compostable Bag Trial-Project Report (2020)

Holdfast Bay Compostable Bag Trial-Project Report (2020)
  • Compost and Organics
  • Local Government

Holdfast Bay Compostable Bag Trial-Project Report (2020)

The City of Holdfast Bay (CoHB), with funding from Green Industries SA (GISA), has piloted an alternative model of distribution for compostable bags. This involved distributing the bags via food retailers (supermarkets) from March to September 2018. Plastic bags were replaced with compostable bags in the fruit and vegetable sections of two local Foodland supermarkets. This allowed customers to purchase their fruit and vegetables in a compostable bag and then reuse the bag at home to dispose of their food waste into the green organics bin. Due to the success of the pilot it was extended for a further six months, until March 2019. Rawtec was engaged to provide project assistance and measure the outcomes of the project. This report brings together the multiple stages including three physical kerbside bin audits and insights from the third round of customer surveys. The pilot achieved the goals that it intended to explore, including: • Demonstrating that standard plastic fruit and vegetable bags can be replaced with compostable bags. • Showing a suitable compostable bag can be designed to fit standard dispensers in supermarkets. • Demonstrating a design of compostable bags that supports the weight of fruit and vegetables and allows checkout staff to easily identify the type and price of fruit and vegetables. • Identifying that residents will use the compostable bags in kitchen organics baskets to collect their food waste. They then recycle this in the green organics bin and the bags are composted through commercial composting systems. • Developing a greater understanding of the cost considerations for supermarkets and CoHB. • Assessing the strength and weaknesses of the supermarket distribution method. Further it was found that: • Based on customer surveys and community feedback, the response to the pilot and compostable bags is overwhelmingly positive. • The supermarket compostable bags are increasingly being used in the home to collect and recycle food waste. • The pilot led to a positive change in levels of food diversion from landfill (based on targeted physical bin audits). Key results found: Customer surveys. Three rounds of customer surveys (early, mid and late-pilot) were conducted to understand the behaviours and views of customers to the two supermarkets. The results from the third round of interviews in November included that: • 62 per cent of Glenelg South and 56 per cent of Brighton Foodland customers were aware of the trial. • 73 per cent of Glenelg South and 44 per cent of Brighton Foodland customers said they use the kitchen organics basket and compostable bags to dispose of their food waste. • 94 per cent of customers would like to see the compostable bags to continue to be provided.
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