Ellen MacArthur Foundation calls to ban oxo-degradable plastic packaging worldwide.


Plastic Bags


“Oxo-degradable plastics are commonly fossil-based, non-biodegradable polyolefins or polyesters (e.g. PE or PET) supplemented with salts and transition metals. These additives are supposed to enable the biodegradation of apparently non-biodegradable plastics.”

Constance Iβbrücker, Head of Environmental Affairs at European Bioplastics Bioplastic Magazine 1701 p 44

Are they HARMFUL?

European Bioplastics has long been talking about the risk of oxo-degradable plastics and the increasing use of false and misleading labelling and greenwashing practices of some manufacturers of these materials.

If they don’t degrade safely back into our environment you wonder – where do they go?

Some manufacturers claim “Once the oxidation process has reached a certain point, microorganisms begin to colonize on the surface. Colony sizes on the plastic product depend on the degree of oxidation. The microorganisms actively metabolize the oxygenated plastic. By-products from this process are H2O, CO2 and humus. These by-products are assimilated into the natural lifecycle of most ecosystems.”

The New Plastics Economy states “significant evidence suggests oxo-degradable plastics do not safely biodegrade but fragment into small pieces, contributing to microplastics pollution.”

Micro Plastic

While the Plastics Recycling Organisation have the following education piece. “The additives change the expectations for a plastic’s future function. Bottles with degradable additives can be ground and melted like another bottle, but with reduced quality and service life expectations.” The result is a lower quality recycled plastic.


As an alternative, to recyclable or oxo-degradable products, customers can look for certified compostable packaging. Certified compostable packaging is third party tested for degradation and non-toxic impact.

At BSIbio we provide third party BPI certified compostable products and always work to inform our customers. We do our homework and as a company are actively engaged in compost research. Our goal is designs and sell better products that contribute to amazing compost.

On Monday 6th November the New Plastics Economy Team at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation published a statement calling for a global ban on oxo-degradable plastics. See the full press release here.

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Announcing! Our Conference Presentation & BioCycle Article

What’s the life cycle of our compostable products?

This week our CEO Susanna Carson and Manager of Research & Communications Emily McGill are co-presenting the open source field testing program at BioCycle REFOR17 in Portland, Oregon, this Wednesday, Oct 18.

BSIbio Research

In case you didn’t know – we’re working to close the loop on our products. Since 2013 we have been testing our certified compostable packaging on-site at real-world compost facilities. We first shared this research in our 5-part blog series “A Compost Story“, and now we’re published in BioCycle magazine’s September 2017 edition. You can read the BioCycle article here.

We tell the story of testing our certified compostable products at a regional, anaerobic digestion, composting facility back in 2014 in partnership with UBC. This was one of three test facilities to enhance the available methods for field testing these products.

Since then, we’ve been partnering with experts and organizations across Canada and the US to bring an open source field testing program to every facility interested in figuring out how these products work in their operations.

BSIbio Field Testing Certified Compostable Products
BSIbio’s Research Team Field Testing Certified Compostable Products in the Lower Mainlan

Interested in testing certified compostable foodware with your local facility?

Send us your contact information through the Field Testing landing page with the Compost Council Research & Education Foundation.

We look forward to hearing from you! 

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Happy International Compost Awareness Week 2017!

Time to geek out over compost!

Although we are compost nerds all year long, this is the official week to share our passion and knowledge with you. At BSIbio, we specialize in the design and sale of compostable foodware as a more sustainable alternative to petroleum-based, landfill-bound packaging, especially polystyrene. We’re honoured to be a part of the compost supply chain –  check out the research we conducted in partnership UBC to test how well our products composted in different regional facilities.

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest mass education initiative of the compost industry. Since 1995 it has continued to grow as more people, businesses, municipalities, school and organizations are recognizing the importance of composting and the long-term benefits from organics recycling.

Check back each day this week for fun compost facts!

And, enjoy this year’s ICAW2017 Poster from the US Composting Council:

ICAW Poster 2017 USCC

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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.

 – – – ~ – – –

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.


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.


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.


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:


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


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


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


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


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


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! 🙂  


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


Plastic waste is not only created at the office.


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


Day 5 What is our waste after our challenge 160715


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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