First Mile launches dedicated compostable packaging recycling service
As the nation becomes increasingly environmentally aware, the UK has seen a significant rise in the use of compostable materials by businesses for everyday items such as food and beverage packaging. From local coffee shops to large supermarket chains, compostable and biodegradable packaging alternatives are now commonplace. However, there is a common misconception that these items can be thrown in general waste, mixed recycling or food waste bins to decompose.
In response to this recycling conundrum, #FirstMile has announced the launch of a dedicated compostable recycling packaging service for businesses, which will see this packaging transformed into nutrient rich fertiliser. This service means that the good intentions of those companies investing in the use of compostable packaging can be realised, benefitting the environment rather than detrimentally impacting on existing recycling streams.
There are many different types of compostable packaging in use today – including coffee cups, food packaging and drinks containers – but these can be problematic to dispose of correctly at the end of their usable life. Compostable packaging materials require very specific environments to successfully decompose and can cause more environmental harm than good if they end up in the wrong place. Items are often mistakenly put in general waste, where if sent to landfill they will give off methane as they degrade, or wrongly added to mixed recycling, where they contaminate other materials. Many people also incorrectly assume that compostable packaging can be added to their food waste recycling, but again, this will contaminate the waste stream as the conditions required for compostable packaging to decompose are very different to those of food waste.
Leading recycling company First Mile, already provides a recycling service to over 25,000 businesses. Its new compostable packaging collections will be available to both new and existing customers via dedicated kerbside collection sacks.
First Mile’s founder and CEO, Bruce Bratley, commented: ‘There has been a significant increase in the amount of compostable packaging being used by sustainability savvy businesses, but these items need to be processed properly to provide any environmental benefits. We are pleased to be able to offer this new service, where customers will be able to simply place their compostable packaging in one of our dedicated First Mile bags for collection, safe in the knowledge that their actions will make a difference.’