Have you seen it yet? A new Literature Review on the Impact of Compostable packaging

Sharing with you the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s press release on their awesome new study about the impacts of compostable foodware – check it out below!

To learn more about our company’s research, check out Our Compost Story.

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New Study Examines Impact of Compostable Foodservice Packaging

Released 1/19/2017

The Foodservice Packaging Institute has completed a review of literature related to the impact of compostable foodservice packaging at different points in the composting value chain. Encouragingly, the review found a growing body of evidence demonstrating that the use of compostable foodservice packaging can increase food scrap diversion and reduce contamination when used in conjunction with known best practices for food scraps collection.

The study, commissioned by FPI’s Paper Recovery Alliance (PRA) and Plastics Recover Group (PRG), examined how compostable foodservice packaging impacts:

  • Composting program participation rates.
  • Food scraps diversion rates.
  • Contamination of composting feedstocks and finished compost.
  • Composting process, compared with traditional carbon sources.

“As the use of compostable packaging grows, so too should the opportunities to successfully recover those items,” said FPI President Lynn Dyer. “When considering whether to accept foodservice packaging, composters may have questions about the impact on their programs, and this study helped to identify resources to answer those questions.”

Key insights from the study include:

This is an emerging field of study. The impact of compostable foodservice packaging on composting program participation, customer behavior and diversion rates is a relatively new area of study and, as such, the availability of relevant sources varies widely by topic area.

A growing body of evidence shows the use of compostable foodservice packaging can lead to an increase of food scrap diversion and a reduction in contamination. Available data suggest that compostable foodservice packaging use, in conjunction with programs such as outreach, education, new infrastructure and desired behavior models, can increase food scrap diversion rates and reduce observed contamination rates.

Coordinated consumer education is key. In order to realize the full benefits of compostable packaging in increasing food scraps diversion and minimizing contamination, coordinated efforts around customer education are essential between manufacturers, operators, consumers, municipalities, haulers and composters.

Data gaps still exist. A crucial identified gap in available research is the extent to which compostable foodservice packaging compares to natural carbon sources typically used during composting. No data was found comparing their ability to balance compost carbon to nitrogen ratios, moisture content, porosity, composting rate, ammonia volatilization and final compost properties.

“This review will help inform our strategies, investments and activities to increase the recovery of compostable cups, take-out containers and utensils used by an increasing number of foodservice outlets,” stated Dyer. “Information-sharing and education among manufacturers, foodservice operators, consumers, municipalities, haulers and composters are critical to our collective success.”

A copy of the study’s findings may be found at www.recycleFSP.org/composting.

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“A Plastic Ocean” Canadian Movie Premiere! Get Your Free Ticket

Vancouverites! A Must See Canadian Movie Premiere is 2 weeks away!

“The Most Important Film Of Our Time”
- Sir David Attenborough

This high-end documentary “A Plastic Ocean” feature film gives a global perspective on the issue of plastic waste in our oceans. The film examines the extent of the problem, but more importantly it shows us ways to turn it around.

Thursday Jan. 19th 7pm at the Simon Fraser University Goldcorp Centre for the Arts 149 W Hastings Street.

BSIbio will provide a complimentary ticket for BSIbio customers!

If you purchase one ticket as a BSIbio customer, you will receive one complimentary ticket for your guest. Please call us at 604-630-5115 for your ticket!

If you are not a BSIbio customer you can purchase your ticket via Universe.

See you there!

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3 Steps to Using Compostables at Your Holiday Events

BSIbio Holiday Blintzes for Compostable Events smallIt’s that time of the year again, and the past couple weeks have reminded Vancouverites that we are in fact a part of chilly Canada.  It’s a good time to be indoors, tucking in with a hot cup of cocoa, and planning end-of-year celebrations with your friends, family and coworkers!

Step 1. Make the decision – do you need compostables?

If you’re serving food at your events, what will you eat off of? Reusable, durable dishware is option #1, but if you can’t go that route for lack of dishwasher (or people to wash dishes!) then our certified compostables are your next best bet.

Step 2. Ok, choice made. Now, what compostables do you need?

Depending on what you’re serving, you can get away with as little foodware as a napkin, or go all the way with soup bowls, plates, cups and cutlery.

Here’s our hot list of compostable goodies for your holidays:

BSIbio Compostable Christmas Product Hot list

Step 3. Where does it go? Booking transport for your holiday compostables and food scraps

EcoAction Compost Bin Dec 2016 - BSIbio blog

Compost bins from Eco-Action Recycling make it clear to compost here!

Compostables are a special guest at your event – and they need to get home too! Hopefully your venue has food scraps pickup already, but if it doesn’t, there are a number of haulers in the Lower Mainland who will provide one-day event services. Our top picks are:

Any of these folks should be able to set up small-event compost pickup within a week or so. We have even more haulers in our network – for our full list of recommend haulers and compost facilities, get in touch! We love working with our customers to make composting as easy as it can be.

As for where they’ll take your stuff – that all depends on which compost facility nearest you likes and takes compostable products! Check out our map for Where to Compost your Bésics® Products.

Bonus step! Hire bin-sorting professionals to help your guests use the right bin and increase your event waste diversion

Having a big event, and worried about your guest’s ability to choose the right waste bin? Consider calling in the experts – Green Chair Recycling, The Binner’s Project, and Clean It Recycling all provide sorting at your events to increase your diversion!

 

Let us know if this article helped you out!

What party plans do you have for the holiday season, and will you be using compostables? Tell us on Twitter @bsibio!

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Compostable Formalwear at a Black Tie Event

Our CEO Susanna Carson has taken compostable packaging to a new level. 

On September 30th our CEO supported nature education and attended Nature Canada’s inaugural Nature Ball. More than the meal was sustainable at this black tie event. The event helps children and families discover nature and protect it into the future through the NatureHood program.

Susanna took the sustainable theme of the Nature Ball to heart and wore her gown made of compostable Bésics® packaging. Yes, compostable packaging made into a ball gown!

 

BSIbio CEO Susanna Carson in her compostable ball gown at Nature Canada’s Nature Ball.

BSIbio CEO Susanna Carson in her compostable ball gown at Nature Canada’s Nature Ball.

 

As a founding member of Women for Nature she was honoured to be in attendance with amazing individuals all working towards the common goal of nature conservation.

What were 3 take home memories?

Here is what Susanna Carson had to say…

“Margaret Atwood, guest of honor, was brave and humorous in her remarks discussing her graphic-novel series about a superhero trying to save the planet.”

“African Bronze Honey Project was one of many inspiring organizations represented at the Ball. Their honey sales provide funds for initiatives of Canadian non-profit organizations and helps support a program to train African families to become independent wild-beekeepers.”

“I’m glad I brought a spare dress in order to sit down for dinner.”

At BSIbio we appreciate our CEO’s commitment to sustainability and look forward to supporting Nature Canada events in Western Canada!

Take the next step in sustainability.

Support your CEO.

 

Do you have an upcoming event that could use some compostable razzle-dazzle?

Let us know by commenting below or email us at buybetter@bsibio.com!

P.S. Did you see it? Susanna premiered the first version of the gown with colleagues at Richmond’s COOL2016: Cool Events for a Cool Planet expo in April 2016.

BSIbio CEO Susanna Carson and team in the first rendition of our awareness-raising compostable formalwear.

BSIbio CEO Susanna Carson and team in the first rendition of our awareness-raising compostable formalwear.

#buybetter #styleissustainable #bsibio #compostable #sustainableevents #blacktie #CEO #support #nature #naturecanada #natureball #Ottawa


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You are what you eat – how locally sourced food sends the right message

More than 50% of people agree that what you eat says a lot about who you are (Eaters Digest Report 2016). As an event organizer or food service provider, what does your food say about you?

Diners everywhere are becoming increasingly aware that what they eat impacts their health, as well as the health of the planet. Locally sourced foods are replacing the preference for organic foods. Why? They deliver value to the local community. This desire for positive social impact, combined with the distrust of food that travels great lengths to get to our plates, is a recipe for the local, sustainable food movement (Eaters Digest Report 2016).

Rely on your suppliers to direct you to local sources

Local food experts can help you deliver the quality and thoughtfulness that sends the right message at your event. We asked Drew Munro to share his vision behind Drew’s Catering & Events. He knows exactly what his food says about him – and his clients are eating it up.

catering

Drew Munro, founder and Chef of Drew’s Catering & Events

Drew founded Drew’s Catering & Events in 2008. Since then, he has been applying an ingredient-first approach and has never lost sight of his passion for creating beautiful, unique meals for his clients.

Being a chef is Drew’s first priority. That means he takes a granular look at the quality, freshness, and local story behind the food he serves:

“We start with the ingredients. We find out what our local suppliers can offer that is fresh and seasonal; we bring that information into the conversation with our clients to marry their preferences with the high-quality local ingredients we are proud to serve.”   - Drew Munro

A good caterer will be able to provide information about where their food comes from. If you can get a high level of detail like the farmer’s name, region, or a story about the weather, you’re on the right path. Some of Drew’s favourite suppliers include the Benton Brothers for local cheese, and Deluxe Seafood for Ocean Wise certified seafood. These suppliers have their fingers on the pulse of their industries.

Your event guests crave a deeper connection to their food, and, with the help of a local food expert, you will be equipped to provide it.

catering

Cheese Platter by Drew’s Catering & Events featuring locally sourced cheeses from Benton Brothers

Creating value to support your locally sourced menu is all about communication. At Drew’s Catering & Events, client relationships are based on a two-way conversation.

“Some clients may want something out of season; our job is to guide them to a sustainable, flavourful option that satisfies what they are looking for.” – Drew Munro

This style of service builds trust and provides support to restaurateurs and event organizers looking to create a memorable experience.

The path to sustainable business is complicated. It requires a shift in thinking and a willingness to change. If you are going with local, line-caught fish for your chowder, make sure you are not serving it in a plastic-lined bowl.

catering

Chower and beer being served in compostable food ware at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Chowder Chow Down competition. Photo by Allison Kuhl Photography

“It’s all about education and consistency,” says Drew. “When you select the best local ingredients available and creative presentations to match, you have to think about your service all the way down to the food ware it’s presented on.”   

Drew made the decision years ago to remove all traditional plastic from their service offering. To launch that decision, he made a company-wide announcement and celebrated with a staff meal – now that’s staff engagement!

If you’re at one of Drew’s events and you’re looking for bottled water or juice, you will instead be offered a mobile beverage dispenser with compostable cups or real glassware. This is a proud talking point for the team at Drew’s Catering, and clients love it. Making the change to sustainable operations is not only the right thing to do for the planet, it helps you distinguish your business from the crowd. Remember, the transition requires support, so engage your stakeholders and ask experts like Drew to help.

Want to find out more about what Drew’s Catering & Events is up to? Check them out!

 

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5 Tips for a Plastic Free Office!

BSIbio is one of many companies that joined the Plastic-Free July Challenge. What is that? It’s quite simple: Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during the month of July! At BSIbio, we took simple, day-to-day actions to drastically reduce our use of disposable plastic. Here’s what we did:

DAY 1 – WATER BOTTLE MIX & MATCH

We kept it simple and brought our reusable water bottles to the office. At BSIbio we use our water bottles for hiking, biking and circus performance! How do you use yours?

Day 1 Water Bottle Mix n Match 160715

WATER BOTTLE MIX N' MATCH

Plastic bottles are one of the #1 items in global plastic pollution.

DAY 2 – NUDE LUNCH

Keep your food nude. With a bit of prep the night before, we all brought our lunches packed in reusable containers!

Day 2 Nude Lunch 160715

NUDE LUNCH

Single-use, landfill-bound, take-out packaging is another major contributor to our plastic pollution problem.

DAY 3 – COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE

A team coffee run, using our reusable mugs! We found it boosted morale, productivity, and – of course – our caffeine levels.

Day 3 Coffee Coffee Coffee 160715

COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE

At BSIbio, we love our coffee. We wanted to reduce the amount of disposable coffee cups that we used. Yes, we sell disposable compostable coffee cups. When  you can’t go reusable, be sure to go compostable! :)  

DAY 4 – BRING IT HOME

We found an easy recipe for DIY moisturizer. It was surprisingly simple, a great team-bonding exercise and, best of all, plastic-free!

Day 4 Bring it home 160715

BRING IT HOME

Plastic waste is not only created at the office.

DAY 5 – WHAT DO WE WASTE?

It is hard to eliminate waste completely, even when we are conscious of our actions. We started by looking at our waste in an average week. Our waste audit before the Plastic Free July Challenge showed our biggest waste culprits to be label paper (23%), soft plastics such as ziplock bags and granola bar wrappers (10%), and disposable coffee cups (2.5%).

Day 5 What is our waste before our challenge 160715

BEFORE

Day 5 What is our waste after our challenge 160715

AFTER

During our Plastic-Free July Challenge, we made some great improvements:

  • We reduced our use of soft plastics from 10% to 1.9%
  • Disposable coffee cups went down from 2.5% to 0%
  • Our overall waste volume decreased by 43%!
While BSIbio didn’t end the week with zero waste, we were excited about how much we reduced! Doing the before and after audits were a key part of this challenge, meaning that we finished this challenge excited about our reductions, rather than disappointed about not having an empty garbage bin. 

Happy Plastic-Free July! You can join the Plastic-Free Challenge too.

Watch for more BSIbio tips for decreasing use of disposable plastics at the end of July! 

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Our BSIbio #PlasticFreeJuly Week!

Guess what tomorrow is, other than Canada Day?

It’s the #PlasticFreeJuly challenge! Begun 5 years ago in Perth, Australia, the challenge is now gaining ground worldwide. The point is that for a day, a week, or the whole month, we try to go plastic-free as individuals and as businesses.

By participating in Plastic Free July, your organisation will be part of the solution to plastic pollution
- motivation from the organizers

Why? Conventional plastics (i.e. non-compostable) are entering our environment at ever-increasing rates, causing immense side effects at all levels of our ecosystems and especially our oceans.

The challenge aims to eliminate single use disposable, conventional plastics. At BSIbio, we’ve joined as an organization for week-long challenge, and we’ll be live tweeting our experiences @bsibio!

Join in the fun! Check out what we’ve got planned:

BSIbio's Plastic Free July Week Plan

Sign yourself up here and let’s make it viral!

 

As always, we encourage you to #buybetter with #bsicompostables. Visit our office in Marpole to talk #PlasticFree!

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Buy Better SALE on Compostable Take-out Packaging!

SALE Compostable Packaging

We’re having a blowout SALE from May 10 – 31, 2016.

Planning a zero-waste, sustainable event?

Selling food at a farmers’ market this summer?

Using compostable take-out containers at your cafe or restaurant?

We have good news for you!

Get up to 50% off certain compostable products!

  • Fibreware
  • Cutlery
  • Straws
  • Hot Cups & Lids
  • Cold Cups & Lids
Compostable Biodegradable Plates and Bowls

Give us a call at 604-630-5115!

Check out bsibio.com for more details, or talk to your sales rep.

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3 Questions Every Sustainable Event Organizer Should Ask

Earlier this week, the City of Richmond hosted the COOL Sustainability Expo, and today being Earth Day, it’s a great time to think about sustainability for your events and conferences.

sustainable event

BSIbio Compostable Costumes at COOL2016

 

sustainable event

BSIbio's booth at COOL2016: Cool events for a Cool Planet

Before we share our 3 key questions, let’s first look at what a sustainable event is and why they are becoming more popular.

What is a sustainable event?

A sustainable event has a lower impact on the environment. If you are a food vendor or caterer at a sustainable event, be prepared to answer tough questions. Event organizers will be measuring their environmental impact and one of the first areas of improvement is sure to be reducing food service waste.

Why host a sustainable event?

The average conference produces 2.5 lbs of waste per person per day (source: MeetGreen). Attendees are becoming increasingly aware of their impacts, and want to participate in a guilt-free experience. The expectation is that you – as a food vendor, supplier, or planner – understand that impact.  They are looking for accountability and actions from you to reduce it.

How do you plan a zero waste event?

Creating sustainable waste solutions means taking a step back and looking at the whole picture. You can think of this in terms of a circular economy for events. Start treating your products as valuable resources! This will help you determine their environmental impact from raw material to disposal.

3 Questions every event planner should ask to get to zero waste

1. What is our goal?

Set a sustainability target and make sure it supports the core function of the event. Communicate your goal upstream to suppliers and downstream to waste haulers. Work with your food vendors to get the buy-in you need to create a welcoming, knowledgeable environment for your guests. Keep in mind that you may not reach your goal at your first event, but you will learn a lot trying. Event planners who have been moving towards zero waste for years still have room for improvement. Measure your results and keep researching best practices for your next event.

2. Do we have the right products?

When considering the flow of materials in and out of your event, you will want to make sure your compostable materials are, in fact, compostable. Check the BPI website or ask your suppliers for their product certification numbers. Equip your vendors with the resources they need to make the right purchasing decisions.

Our “biodegradable vs compostable” handout is a great place to start:

What is the difference between 'Biodegradable' and 'Compostable'?

 

3. Is the material going to get where it needs to go?

Talk to your waste hauler about your diversion goals.  If you are working within an ‘open’ system, you may need to use recyclable and compostable materials. Check out the resources available from the National Zero Waste Council for information on working with open systems. We can help you create a ‘closed loop’ system where all compostable products, including polylactic acid (PLA), will get to the right place! Remember, there are many waste haulers to choose from – contact us for our recommended waste hauler list.

If you are able to answer these three questions, then you are on your way towards a sustainable event. As a bonus, you will see the brand value of ‘going green’! 

Do you have more questions? BSIbio is here to help. 

Posted in Circular Economy & Life-Cycle Analysis, Conferences, event, Uncategorized, Zero-waste | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to cut the waste out of sampling!

Providing samples is an incredibly effective way to get your brand noticed. Item sales can increase up to 74% over a 20-week period according to a study from R.I.S.E. (Report on In-store Sampling Effectiveness).

Sounds like a no-brainer…but what about all that waste?
As your compostable foodware expert, we are proud to offer the perfect solution. BSIbio is now stocked with EcoTasters! These certified compostable tasting spoons offer an aesthetically pleasing look and feel, which allow your customers to enjoy the texture and flavour of your tasty samples.

EcoTensil Sampler

EcoTensil Sampler

EcoTensil shares BSIBio’s dedication to provide high quality foodware with sustainable end-of-life solutions. For organic, sustainable food samples, compostables are the best choice that reflect the values of the brand.

“As a natural food product demonstrator I consider EcoTensils an absolute blessing. I love that they are compostable, compact, strong and so darn cute. Samplers are always impressed with the simple act of pressing the two green dots together and you’ve got a spoon!”

- Christina Young, demo operator with Indigo Natural Product Management

We have two fully compostable EcoTensil Sample Spoons for you.

EcoTaster Mini Tasting Spoons for Mini Samples
EcoTaster Mid for Bigger Bites and Plating

EcoTasters are provided in a space efficient cube – get the starter kit with a bamboo display box to kick off your new sample spoons!

To order your EcoTasters or to try some samples please call 604-630-5115 or email sales@bsibio.com

 

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