World Environment Day: How Brookfarm’s innovative home recyclable packaging is helping beat plastic pollution
Brookfarm’s Roll ‘N’ Recycle packaging is a game-changer for soft plastics
At Brookfarm we’re always trying to do better for the planet. On World Environment Day on 5 June 2023, we’re joining people around the globe to raise awareness about the environment. This year’s theme is #BeatPlasticPollution, which focuses on the urgent need to create solutions to solve plastic pollution and transition to a circular economy.
We know it will take a global effort. And it’s up to businesses to step up and lead the way with practical everyday solutions. That’s why we’re proud to have developed a world-first 100% home recyclable packaging solution for our premium Muesli, Granola and Porridge. From our humble beginnings on the family macadamia farm, our Roll ‘N’ Recycle packaging has scooped awards for sustainable design and innovation across the globe.
It’s a big step forward for plastics recycling driven by our family-owned Australian business in Byron Bay – and it has the potential to revolutionise the way soft plastics are recycled for good.
The plastic problem we set out to solve
Traditional soft plastics used for packaging food and other products are difficult to recycle, so a lot of it ends up in landfill. They often get stuck and damage the sorting machines at standard recycling facilities, causing manual intervention and repair delays, which is why they’re not allowed in kerbside recycling bins.
And to keep food fresh and maintain quality, traditional soft plastics are often made from multiple layers of different kinds of plastic. This means the material is difficult to extract and separate into the different “streams” of plastic for recycling. The packaging just isn’t designed for Australia’s existing kerbside recycling infrastructure.
According to the United Nations Environment Program, the world produces more than 430 tonnes of plastic each year. We knew we needed to find a more sustainable solution for our packaging. So we reached out to our packaging partner, O F Packaging, to create one.
“We really care about our impact on the environment,” says Will Brook, CEO of Brookfarm. “The packaging side of things has always been really important for Brookfarm. The product has a life in creating enjoyment, but that bag also has a life and where does it go after that. That’s been a concern for us for a long time. We want every single product that we make and all the packaging to be completely recyclable.”
World-first Brookfarm solution
Together with our packaging partner O F Packaging and PREP Design, we’ve developed a new type of packaging that’s 100% home recyclable. After more than 2 years of trials and testing, we launched a world-first trial of our Roll ‘N’ Recycle pouch. With overwhelmingly positive feedback, we’ve rolled out these sustainable pouches to our 24 breakfast products.
The concept behind Roll ‘N’ Recycle packaging is simple. The pouches are made from a single layer of sophisticated soft plastic, which is firmer than traditional soft plastic.
So, when you roll up the pouch and secure it with the recyclable sticker, it turns from a flat package into a rigid three-dimensional shape. This is what unlocks its ability for it to be recycled from home like a regular plastic bottle. And the quality of our premium Muesli, Granola and Porridge is still as fresh as ever.
Breakthrough in recycling
The Roll ‘N’ Recycle pouches are made from a single plastic material called a mono polymer, which is food safe and BPA free. It is a Plastic Identification Code 4 LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) material. This code usually can’t be sorted at standard material recycling facilities as most soft plastics are flat.
But when Roll ‘N’ Recycle pouches are rolled up and secured with the sticker provided, it becomes a rigid plastic, like a plastic bottle. They don't get stuck in the machinery, and can be easily sorted through the standard mixed-plastic stream (coloured HDPE).
And the good news is that all parts of the pouches (including the zipper closure, sticker and barrier) are recyclable.
Once collected from the kerbside recycling bin, the material is sorted and separated at the nearest material recycling facility, before being transported to a plastics recycling facility in Australia and turned into pellets.
The pellets can be used to make other products like garden beds and garden edging, and as a component in road material. So instead of creating waste, Roll ‘N’ Recycle packaging can be transformed into a useful resource as part of a circular economy.
Australian innovation helping the environment
On World Environment Day – and every day – we’re proud to champion an Australian world-first soft plastics solution. Thanks to our Roll ‘N’ Recycle initiative we hope to reduce 2 million bags from landfill each year. This solution puts the power to create positive change back into the hands of the people we value the most – our customers and community.
It also gives the soft plastics industry and Australian consumers a practical solution and way to recycle soft plastics following the unfortunate pausing of the REDcycle soft plastics recycling program.
And this is just the beginning. We’re working with our packaging partner to encourage the recycling industry and government to support the rollout of Roll ‘N’ Recycle across Australia. “We’re at the start of this and will hopefully get more brands to be able to convert their packaging over so that this becomes the everyday,” says Will.
To learn more about this partnership and how other Aussie-grown businesses are helping to #BeatPlasticPollution, watch this video.
Find out more about our Roll ‘N’ Recycle initiative and read our Frequently Asked Questions to discover how easy it is to recycle at home. Look out for the bright green Roll ‘N’ Recycle label on our Brookfarm Muesli, Granola and Porridge at Harris Farm, IGA Supermarkets, Go Vita, independent grocery and health food stores, and the Brookfarm Shop online.
Discover other businesses who are using Roll 'N' Recycle - Koh HERE, Dona Cholita HERE and VetONE HERE. Encourage your favourite brands to swap to Roll ‘N’ Recycle packaging, support businesses with Roll 'N' Recycle, and help beat plastic pollution.
Find out more about our Roll ‘N’ Recycle initiative