Driving the demand for sustainable and fully compostable packaging

Driving demand for sustainable packaging CRE

‘The demand for fully compostable food packaging is growing, it is being driven by consumers and we are happy to be able to supply a certified product to food manufacturers’  Patrick Gerritsen, CEO at Bio4Pack speaks to us about what having the Cré certification has meant to his packaging company.

Why did you want to achieve the Cré Certification?

‘We went for the certification for two reasons.  The first is that as a company we only deal with sustainable packaging for all our customers.  We have EN certification already, in fact we have over 12 different certifications already in this area.  We have the certification for Europe, but we did not have the certification for Ireland.  We wanted to ensure all facilities in Ireland would take this packaging as the certification would prove that our packaging was fully compostable in any Irish waste facility.

Once we had been certified, all Irish waste facilities will accept this packaging as it has been proved it will compost totally in the appropriate time frame within their controlled facility.  We already knew it would, but the certification proved it.

The second reason we went for this certification is that we have two major customers in Ireland, and both liked the idea of having compostable packaging that is certified for their own country.  Not just the EN cert but a specific cert for their own country.  As a well-established supplier in Europe we know the value of ensuring our customers are satisfied.

Is the demand for sustainable packaging growing?

I have been in this industry for over 20 years and I see the demand for sustainable. Each year we have a huge increase in enquires, in fact we are growing at a rate of 30-40% each year supplying sustainable packaging.  People may ask for recyclable material but only 15% of recycling material actually goes into the recycling chain.  Apart from aluminum cans and glass, all the other material goes to downcycling.  So sustainable is the way to go.

What is your biggest challenge on offering compostable packaging?

Our battle is not on a price point for packaging, we are up against the might of conventional packaging.  We are fighting for the environment and truly compostable packaging is the better option by far. We can prove that this packaging is full traceable, we know where every component came from and also the energy that was used to produce it.  We find we have to explain this more, but we have the facts behind us.

What was the certification process like for you?

It was straightforward working with the Cré team.  Once we had the packaging agreed we had to send it to Ireland for the actual testing.  As we already have EN approval, the paperwork was very straight forward and there was no hard work for us.  The test was completed and as we expected, we passed all requirements.

Having this certification, and using this symbol makes it a lot less confusing for consumers.  Many other European countries have their own individual symbol that consumers recognise.  So, we understand why an Irish symbol was needed.

Do you see a future demand for compostable packaging?

The demand for our packaging is increasing and is being driven by both consumers and supermarkets.  The consumer is more knowledgeable, there is a lot of information being driven online and they are demanding change.  They see the transport of plastics to China for incineration, the plastic soup and the damage to the environment.  It is time to stop waste.

Consumers put pressure on the supermarket chains.  However, the supermarket sector is also driving it, as it gives them an added benefit of being able to attract more customers by offering this type of product.   The consumer wants it, the supermarkets want it – so the demand is certainly growing.  Our packaging has added value, it is sustainable and renewable, and we are happy to deliver what they want.’

Having the Cré Certification certainly seems to be important to Patrick and the team at Bio4Pack, we thank Patrick for taking the time to speak with us.  We are glad they found the process easy and that it brings such value to them as a supplier of fully compostable packaging.