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Green innovators shaking up the local food packaging industry

NATRAPLAS, a local manufacturing company who is leading the way to a sustainable future with their innovative sustainable concept to rescue industry waste material to produce a range of eco-friendly and compostable food packaging products, whilst reducing tonnes of waste going to landfill from the mining industry! Congratulations to Natraplas on taking home the Switched On Business Award!

 

Do you wonder how WA local businesses are helping to reduce plastic waste going to landfill?

Plastics have become part of our everyday life. They are inexpensive, convenient and used in many applications. However, the single-use and disposable nature of many of these plastics contributes to a linear, wasteful, take-make-dispose economy.

The National Plastics Plan 2021 highlights that Australia has a plastic problem, and now produces 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, equating to 100 kg per person. Of this, only 13% of plastic is recovered and 84% is sent to landfill. More concerningly, around 130.000 tonnes of plastic we consume leaks into the environment each year. Locally, recent coastal debris collections identified that more than 75% of rubbish collected on Western Australian beaches was plastic.

We all know that a single intervention cannot address the plastic problem on its own. Everyone has a role to play, including local businesses who have already taken successful steps to phase out the single-use of plastic and shift to reusable products and plastics that are more likely to be recycled.

Let's meet one of them!

Natraplas, a local family-owned and operated manufacturing company located in the heart of the City of Canning in Western Australia that goes above and beyond with their innovative sustainable concept to deal with those tricky-avoid single-use plastic items. Natraplas rescues industry waste material to produce a range of eco-friendly and compostable food packaging products, whilst reducing tonnes of waste going to landfill from the mining industry!

After working several years in the mining industry and witnessing huge amounts of soft plastic items disposed of in landfill holes across mine sites in Western Australia, Renzo Petersen, Ian Smith and Dr Federico Banno joined forces to create Natraplas. Their mission is to work together with mine companies to go single-use plastic-free as well as reduce drastic amounts of takeaway plastic containers, cutlery, plates, bowls, cups and water bottles by replacing and converting those into sustainable products, all of which are manufactured locally.

What NATRAPLAS innovative concept has achieved so far?

Natraplas is paving the way to innovate current waste management practices and working closely with local businesses and global pioneers to offer sustainable packaging solutions, demonstrated over the past years through the following actions and accomplishments:

  • So far, Natraplas has displaced over 25 tonnes of single-use plastic items discarded on mine sites across WA, per year. Based on the average estimation that there are six kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) per one kilogram of plastic, this business is displacing approximately 150 tonnes of CO2 per month, this is equivalent to 16 home’s energy use for one year or 58.000 litres of petrol consumed!
  • The business is committed to be carbon negative within five years, joining global efforts in climate action.
  • It is the first business in Australia to produce 100% compostable water bottles (a PLA bioplastic bottle), locally from start to finish.
  • Produce a range of by-products made from different types of industrial processes including sugarcane bagasse, bamboo pulp, barley husks, paper and cardboard.
  • Research and develop products from PLA (polylactic acid) biopolymers such as clear cups and containers. Coffee cups and hot food bowls are coated in PLA and derived from plants and fully-renewable sources.
  • Natraplas actively seeks to work with local manufacturers and suppliers who are highly committed to reduce their carbon footprint and care for the environment as well as to support the local economy.
  • Looking to expand and offer their sustainable packaging solutions across the health, airlines and Defence Force areas both locally and interstate.
  • The business is adopting a circular economy approach which is illustrated in the graph below:

“As WA begins to phase out single-use plastics such as bowls, straws, cups for cold beverages and thick plastic bags, this is a great time to approach your local café or restaurant to see how they can reduce their plastic use – will they accept your re-useable takeaway food container and mug? How about not giving out straws unless customers ask?

Switch your Thinking love to celebrate great local stories of businesses and the communities who are leading the way in our sustainable transition. Congratulations once again to Natraplas for this epic achievement!

Switch your Thinking developed the Switched On Business Award to celebrate and recognise sustainability action in local business across Switch your Thinking partner councils in the Perth metropolitan area. For more information about the next round and to nominate a local business, contact [email protected] or visit switchyourthinking.com.

 Visit https://natraplas.com.au/ for more information.