In an urban city like Singapore, every resident generates about 150kg of food waste together with 30kg of disposable foodware waste every year. This accumulates to about 1 billion tonnes of waste yearly for Singapore. And much of these wastes comes from food service providers like food caterers, canteens operators and restaurants.
The proposed technology is a closed-loop solution that sustainably address the end-of-life of single-use foodware such as disposable plates, bowls and cups. The technology can rapidly convert biodegradable foodware and food waste into fertilizer, instead of sending them to the incinerator or the landfill. It can take used and disposed foodware, preconsumer food scraps (kitchen waste) and postconsumer food waste (plate waste) through a digestion process which converts these wastes rapidly into organic fertilizer within 24hrs.
The technology comprises of 2 main parts, the use of proprietary our material for disposable foodware, and the use of our proprietary digestion machine.
The solution is a good match to food services providers who are looking to address food waste concerns and the sustainable disposal of single-use foodware. This can be a zero waste solution for them.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
The solution is an industry first in the 24hr composting of foodware waste. By industry composting standards such as the ASTM6400 and EN13432, foodware need to be composted within 6 months in an industrial composting site to be labelled as compostable-grade. Our material has out-performed these composting standards using our digestion technology.
It should also be noted that there is no sustainable mass-market solution to dispose of compostable-grade foodware, specifically the bioplastic material. If left to degrade in the open environment, bioplastics can take up to hundreds of years if not given the right conditions; in landfill, which they end up most of the time, bioplastics do not degrade any better than plastic waste; if sent to be recycled in materials recovery facility, the bioplastics are removed from the process because it is a contaminant in plastic recycling operations; if incinerated, one will question the purpose of its compostability; if sent to industrial composting sites, the bioplastic waste simply gets piled up over months, requires large land areas and prohibitive resource cost to manage. Thus, it is no uncommon for many commercial composting sites to refuse bioplastic waste.
In the food industry, there lack an integrated and speedy solution that can digest both foodware and food waste together. We believe the convenience enabled by combining both waste, and the fast turnaround, in this case 24hrs, is the tipping point for mass adoption of food waste recycling.
- Primary application: The deployment in food establishment that uses disposable packaging such as fast food, catering, etc.
- Other application areas or market: The technology can be extended to look at the treatment of bioplastic waste from other industry, such as the use in non-food packaging.
- Potential Products: Various archetypes of foodware and food packaging products can be developed based on our proprietary material, which is capable of extrusion coating, injection molding and blow molding. The digestion technology can also be re-developed for different target users, such as for industrial composting facilities or even home users.