AORA Position Statement: PFAS in Compost Products
This document has been prepared by AORA to summarise PFAS in compost products.
AORA PFAS NEMP 3.0 Response
AORA, on behalf of the Australian organics recycling industry, through ADE Consulting Group and Dr Matthew Askeland, developed a response to the PFAS NEMP 3.0 Consultation Draft. Input was gained from the processing members throughout this process and the following response was submitted.
Vision 2031 - FOGO
This document has been prepared by AORA to provide a guidance framework for the key issues and considerations for the recycled organics industry throughout the transition from household Garden Organics collections to the mandated Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collections by 2030.
AORA supports a ban on all single-use non-compostable plastics, including plastic bags of all gauges, agricultural films and packaging which cannot be reused, recovered or recycled in any way. The use of compostable bags and plastics which meet the requirements of AS4736 and AS5810 as verified by the Australasian Bioplastics Association allows for safe, effective source separation acceptable for organic resource processing/recycling.
Conventional plastics such as polyethylene are not certified compostable and are not biodegradable in any context. Varieties of polyethylene containing additives, such as those called oxo-degradable or oxo-biodegradable are not certified compostable and are not suitable for normal organic processing/recycling operations as they are not biodegradable.
AORA believes that all organic resources should be utilised to their highest potential depending on the specific characteristics of the resource, locality, markets and other unique circumstances. AORA supports various uses of organic resources (other than landfill), however, a major priority is to supplement Australia’s degraded soils to improve production and yields.
Compost to Soils
Australia currenlty generates 12.9 million tonnes of organics (National Waste Report 2018), of which 7.9 million tonnes is food waste (National Food Waste Baseline Report 2018). Organics, if cleaned of contamination, can be a high quality resource which can restore soils, improve food plus fibre production and mitigate damaging climate change. In order to stimulate organics recovery in Australia, industry is asking Government to ... (read on in Joint Position Statement AORA - NWRIC PDF)
Organics to Landfill
AORA supports any policy which diverts organic resources from landfill and given appropriate notice periods, AORA encourages all regulators to ban unprocessed organic resources from landfill as long as the necessary infrastructure, education and regulation have had proper consideration.
Regulatory Definition of Compost as waste
AORA believes that correctly processed and pasteurised compost should under no circumstances be classified as waste. While the inputs could come under the classification of waste, the point at which the combined materials has been pasteurised and matured as set out in the Australian Standards is when it should no longer be classed as waste.
Carbon and Emissions Reduction
AORA recognises the immense value of healthy soils in achieving emissions reductions as well as increasing food production which is achieved through increasing organic matter within soils. Healthy soils can play a major role in achieving our emissions targets through sequestrating carbon within the soils and the improved production of the vegetation growing within it.