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Community Hero: Rust Belt Riders

Welcome to BioBag’s new Community Heroes series! Each month, we will highlight community heroes that are making a difference in their communities and working to make their local environments cleaner and healthier.

This month, we are taking a look at the Rust Belt Riders!

Since 2014, Rust Belt Riders has been working with people and organizations across Northeast Ohio to provide them with a clean and timely alternative to landfills for food waste. Their services include commercial hauling, educational workshops, zero-waste events, and – coming soon – residential services. BioBag Associate Michael Downss spoke to Daniel Brown, co-founder of Rust Belt Riders. Their interview is transcribed below.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Daniel: Founded in 2014 by Michael Robinson and Daniel Brown, Rust Belt Riders began after toiling for more than two years on a pretty typical urban garden. The soil was highly compacted, denuded of nutrients, and this made growing herbs and vegetables a difficult proposition. When we weren’t working on the garden, our nights and weekends were spent at a farm-to-table restaurant. There, we saw how even businesses with the best intentions did not have a viable alternative to landfills for food waste. After raising some funds from friends and family members, Rust Belt Riders was born.

Who do you serve, and how can people get in touch with you if they want to start composting?

Daniel: Rust Belt Riders serves businesses, organizations, and individuals all over Northeast Ohio. Clients can get in touch with us online, over social media, and regularly at community events and farmers markets where we are very active. Reach out to us today to start the conversation! 

How much organic material do you typically take in on a weekly basis?

Daniel: We collect around 50,000 pounds of food waste each and every week. 

Please give us one fun fact about your business.

Daniel: For nearly the first year of our existence, all the food scraps we collected were collected by bicycle with a custom-made trailer attached to the back of it.

If you would like to be featured in a future edition of Community Heroes, please email us at marketing@biobagusa.com.


Community Hero: Bootstrap Compost

Welcome to BioBag’s new Community Heroes series! Each month, we will highlight community heroes that are making a difference in their communities and working to make their local environments cleaner and healthier. This month, we begin with our friends at Bootstrap Compost!

Team Bootstrap

Bootstrap Compost is a leading compost pickup service operating throughout the Boston and Providence areas. As of today, their team has composted 5,252,959 pounds of organic material and counting! BioBag Associate Michael Downss spoke to Jonathan Nankof, the Director of Operations at Bootstrap Compost. Their interview is transcribed below.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Jonathan: Andy Brooks, one of our co-founders, was inspired to start what is now Bootstrap Compost in 2011 after he noticed that compost pick-up services existed in other regions, like in Vermont, but were completely absent in Boston. He wanted to make a difference in his community, and Bootstrap was born. Just under 10 years later, we know we are definitely changing the way the Greater Boston area deals with food waste. 

Who do you serve, and how can people get in touch with you if they want to start composting?

Jonathan: If you’re interested in getting started with Bootstrap, check out our website. There, you’ll be able to learn about everything we offer and you can tailor your pick-up schedule to your needs!

If you click on the “Services” tab at the top of our home page, you can select whatever type of compost pick-up you need: residential, office, restaurant, or even event if you only require a one-time bulk pick-up! From there you can select the frequency (either weekly or bi-weekly) and the quantity of your ideal pick-up. It might be tough to know exactly how much you will need right away, so you can add or remove buckets at any time.

Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions, and we can get you into our delivery system right away. 

How much organic material do you typically take in on a weekly basis?

Jonathan: This January we diverted approximately 40,600 lbs of food waste from landfills each week! This waste is pulled from over 2,200 residential and 280 commercial accounts on a weekly basis. 

Please give us one fun fact about your business.

Jonathan: At Bootstrap we take pride in doing everything by hand! This includes manually dumping all of our collected food waste at our partner farms and hand washing and stenciling our own buckets. Our dedication to doing everything the right way started at the very beginning, when we relied on bikes with trailers to do our first compost pick-ups.

If you would like to be featured in a future edition of Community Heroes, please email us at marketing@biobagusa.com.


Grassroots Community Composters Gaining Momentum to Combat Climate Change

Community groups are taking action against global warming by collecting household food scraps and other organic waste for composting. Instead of dumping organic waste into landfills where it creates greenhouse gases, they are turning ‘waste’ into a resource to rejuvenate our soils through compost. To collect the waste, many people use compostable bags such as BioBag.

Food composting curbside collection programs served only 3.8 million of US households in 2015 according to US EPA, or 3% of 124.6 million US households. By 2017, less than 2% of US communities had municipally-backed food waste collection services according to Biocycle, a waste industry magazine. Yet, food loss and waste accounted for 8.2% of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 10% from road transport in a 2012 report by the World Resources Institute.

Bottom line: household organic waste in landfills is a major contributor to global warming. Instead grassroots organizations are turning the waste into compost to reduce methane emissions from landfills and enrich the soil according to the US EPA.

A group of people stand near a compost pile at Earth Matter NY
Composting at Earth Matter NY

Bootstrap Compost’s cyclists and drivers divert thousands of pounds of organic waste from landfills in the Greater Boston area weekly, and they have composted 3,640,737 lbs. of organic waste so far.

Common Ground/ Reclaimed Organics is a compost collection service for lower Manhattan residents & businesses, bringing food scraps by bike to local community gardens for composting. They process 1,500 lbs a month.

Compost Crusader in Milwaukee paved the way for municipal action. They got a city contract to provide collection services for an Organics Collection Pilot Study which diverted 358,000 pounds of organic waste from the landfill in the first year.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) provides an interactive Composting for Community Map of local composting services.

Earth Matter NY is a non-profit organization advancing composting in-and-around New York City. They compost 28,000 lbs. of food scraps monthly. Their Compost Learning Center on Governor’s Island teaches composting helped with funding by the NYC Department of Sanitation and smaller sponsors like BioBag, the compostable bag manufacturer. Earth Matter and BioBag made a series of videos showing how people use compostable bags, as an alternative to plastic.

A collection of compostable BioBags are filled with food scraps.

“We applaud the ‘bucket brigades’ and educators like Earth Matter,” says Jennifer Pope, VP Marketing at BioBag. “It’s a win-win. More people help the environment, learn the value of composting and are educated in how our compostable bags can be used to collect organic waste and compost more.”

Both Earth Matter and BioBag support the increasingly popular National Cultivating Community Composting Forum, May 11-14, 2019 in New York City. It will share best practices and build support for the composting movement.

BioBag logo

BioBag is the world’s largest manufacturer of compostable bags and films, made in the USA! Their liners have the highest renewable content in the industry. Unlike most other brands, BioBags are 3rd party certified home compostable and Non-GMO project verified.


Introducing a New, Refreshed BioBag Logo!

BioBag Americas, Inc. has launched a new company logo for the first time since its inception in 2002. The fresh design better reflects the direction of both the BioBag brand and the evolving world towards the improvement of recycling systems and initiatives to do better and do more with current resources.

The original logo, developed in the 1990s when the BioBag brand began, included an ear of corn because cornstarch was the major component of compostable bag and film technology at that time. With the updated logo, BioBag strives to stay authentic to their original branding elements while reflecting the fact that resin technology, used to create BioBag products, has since evolved to include a variety of crops.

The yellow segment of the ellipse in the new logo symbolizes the rising sun bringing life and growth to our earth, crops and soils. The faint arrow design symbolizes the circular economy in which waste, specifically organic waste, gets repurposed through composting and soil rejuvenation.

“The corn in our original logo was a visual representation of what made our compostable products different than traditional plastic products,” said Jennifer Pope, VP of Marketing. “A logo is one of the most important aspects of your brand identity, and brands need to evolve with the times, technology and consumer desires. Our refreshed logo mirrors what is happening in the world today and in our future with focusing on the importance of circling our current resources back into our world. The new logo embodies our products’ purpose and mission. We want our customers to know that the logo is just a visual refresh, but our products are the same ones you have come to trust and love.”

Consumers can look for all BioBag subsidiaries to refresh branding components and products with the updated logo in the coming months.


New Resealable Products from BioBag!

BioBag Resealable Snack and Gallon Bags

Introducing Compostable Resealable Bags
in Snack & Gallon Sizes!

 

In 2013, BioBag introduced compostable food storage and sandwich resealable bags. Now, we are proud to announce that we are expanding our resealable product line to include snack-size and gallon-size resealable bags! Like all of our other products, these bags are made from the material Mater-Bi®.

BioBag Resealable Snack Bags are ideal for taking snacks on the go. These bags are convenient for lunches or sorting portions at home. BioBag Resealable Gallon Bags are the largest in our resealable product line and are perfect for traveling, storing leftovers, and a variety of other in-home and on-the-go uses. Both bags are zip tight and great for storing all types of food.

When finished, users can discard the snack and gallon bags with other compost waste. BioBag Snack and Gallon Bags compost right along with other organic waste in a municipal compost facility to create nutrient-rich soil – even the zippers are compostable!

More Wonderful Benefits:

  • Certified Compostable* in a municipal compostable setting
  • Meets ASTM D6400
  • BPA Free – Made without plasticizers or other additives that may be transferred to the food
  • Great alternative to polyethylene-based plastic sandwich and storage bags
  • Prevents and restricts the contents’ exposure to moisture and oxygen
  • Good for all kinds of foods, including those with high fat and acid content
  • Made from GMO Free crops

We are excited to be able to add these new sizes to our line of compostable products, and we hope you’re excited to give them a try!

For wholesale case orders, please contact us directly at info@biobagusa.com.

*Appropriate facilities may not exist in your area. To find a municipal composting facility, visit findacomposter.com. May not be suitable for home composting depending on your composting method. 

 


BioBag Launches Website Store Locator to Instantly Connect Consumers to Local Product Availability

 

BioBag Americas, Inc. is excited to announce the launch of a product store locator on the brand’s website, www.biobagusa.com. This product locator is prominently displayed as a top navigational feature and will allow consumers to search at the UPC-level for the specific BioBag products closest to them.  The store locator leverages Destini’s database of scan data from over 100,000 retail locations to instantly locate the closest point of real-time in-store availability. This solution is designed to both enhance user experience while also providing valuable insights on product demand and distribution.

“In the past, consumers would have to call in to find physical stores carrying our products near them or shop online using our links to eCommerce vendors. By implementing this new product locator, we can now offer our consumers immediate access to local product availability via computer or mobile device,” said Jennifer Pope, BioBag’s VP of Marketing. “The user experience is exceptional, and we love the convenience it provides to our customers. Not only will the locator show stores that carry BioBag, but it pinpoints which stores carry a specific product, so whether a consumer is using food scrap bags, pet waste bags, or another retail product, they’ll be able to easily locate what they need. It’s fantastic!”

Consumers can test out the new BioBag store locator at http://biobagusa.com/store-locator and contact the company at info@biobagusa.com with any comments or issues concerning the feature.

Any retailers currently stocking BioBag products not listed in the Destini database can contact the company at marketing@biobagusa.com to have their location(s) added to the Destini store locator.

About Destini:

Destini is the leading cross-channel store-level data product locator and intelligence solution across the US and Canada for the Consumer Product Goods (CPG) industry. Founded in 2012, Destini developed the largest centralized product availability database in the US, connecting data from over 100,000+ retail locators to allow brand customers to search for any product and locate it at a local store or online retailer for purchase. Today, Destini offers a variety of data-driven sales and marketing solutions to help brands more effectively connect consumers to their products and manage their store-level performance. Visit www.destini.co to learn more and schedule a live demo.


BioBag Announces New Non-GMO Project Verification

BioBag, a world leader in providing bags for the collection of organic waste for the purpose of composting, is proud to announce that the company’s 3 Gallon Food Scrap Bags and 13 Gallon Food Scrap Bags have been Non-GMO Project Verified. The company is also in the process of verifying their compostable commercial liners and produce bags.

“BioBag makes compostable bags from a resin based on agriculture resources, including corn, which is a focal point of our logo and something we get asked about frequently. This verification by the Non-GMO Project is important to us to showcase to our customers our commitment to sourcing and supporting non-GMO crops,” said Jennifer Pope, Vice President of Marketing for BioBag.

The Non-GMO Project is the leading third-party non-GMO verification system in the United States. Products must meet strict criteria for GMO avoidance to achieve verification. Even though BioBag is an international company, and their products have established third-party non-GMO verification from international sources since the company’s inception in the early 2000’s, they knew how essential it would be to the U.S. market to meet the Non-GMO Project Standard.

“The verification label is predominantly seen on consumable food products, but we went the extra mile to certify our non-food products to align with consumer preferences and natural food retailer initiatives for non-GMO here in the U.S.,” said Pope. “It was a rigorous process for us and our supplier, but we are excited now to have the butterfly adorn our products.”

The announcement from BioBag Americas coincides with the 8th annual celebration of Non-GMO Month in October. The Non-GMO Project butterfly is the fastest-growing label in the natural products industry and represents more than 40,000 verified products. The butterfly will begin to appear on BioBag’s packaging and marketing materials in the coming months alongside their other notable certifications by the Biodegradable Product Institute for municipal compostability and Vincotte’s OK Compost Home for home compostability. Earning all three badges propels BioBag to further leadership status within their category.

About BioBag Americas, Inc.

BioBag is a world leader in providing bags and films for the collection of organic waste for the purpose of composting. Its mission is to keep organic waste from ever entering a landfill. Unlike regular plastic bags, BioBags are made from a resin derived from plants, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers and can be consumed by micro-organisms that live in our soils. Because of this, BioBags compost readily along with organic waste at municipal composting facilities. BioBag is not a large, petroleum-based, plastic bag manufacturer that now conveniently dabbles in the new world of compostable bags. BioBag is a small company of dedicated employees who are fully committed to only producing certified compostable bags and films. Additional information can be found at www.biobagusa.com.

About the Non-GMO Project

www.nongmoproject.org


Swedish Strawberry Producer Uses BioAgri* Compostable Film

*BioBag Agricultural Film is sold under the name “BioAgri” in European markets and “BioBag Ag Film” in North American markets.

Peter Löfvenholm from BioBag and Ola Svensson from Finnerödja
inspect the BioAgri film three months after planting. 

Swedish strawberry producer Finnerödja recently chose to test BioAgri – a compostable and biodegradable alternative to traditional agricultural mulch film. After one year, Finnerödja concluded the addition of BioAgri was a success, and they are looking forward to using the compostable films again during the upcoming season.

Sustainable Agriculture with BioAgri Compostable Films

With a desire to achieve more sustainable agriculture, the Swedish strawberry producer Finnerödja tested the compostable mulch film BioAgri. The characteristics of BioAgri mulch film are the same as in conventional PE plastics, but the difference is that BioAgri can be tilled into the soil when crops are harvested. BioAgri does not require the inconvenience and high cost of removal and disposal of the agricultural film, which is unavoidable with traditional PE plastic. By using BioAgri, farmers can also avoid plastic residues in the field and, at the same time, help to ensure a healthier environment. BioAgri degrades via microorganisms found naturally in the soil.

The main reason for Finneröjda to test BioAgri in their strawberry fields was to avoid the problems that come with the remains of conventional plastic films leftover in the ground. “The idea is that we avoid the handling and disposal of traditional plastics, which have been both expensive and time consuming for us,” says Ola Svensson from Finnerödja. Statements from a selection of strawberry growers show that it usually costs about $2000 per hectare for the disposal of traditional plastic films.

The Same Qualities as Traditional Film

BioAgri comes in different thicknesses to fit different cycles. Finnerödja wanted the film to break down early so strawberry cuttings could grow up next to the main plant. Svensson expects to experiment with a thinner film in the coming year and says there are not many other certified compostable films on the market that could support a 1-3 year old plant.

Finnerödja strawberry field with BioAgri, six months after planting

“Other films have poorer mechanical properties and are not certified as compostable in soil, and that makes BioBag BioAgri agricultural mulch film work perfectly, especially for strawberries.” He continues, “The main advantage with BioAgri is that it is certified compostable and biodegradable in soil, and it gives no soil contamination. It is also a great advantage that there is no additional cost for the removal of the film, as it is simply plowed into the ground.”

Laying BioAgri Agricultural Film

Laying BioAgri agricultural mulch film is done with the same equipment as used for conventional PE plastic mulch film. “We had no problems when laying the mulch film with our standard equipment. What you should remember is to be a little more careful so you do not stretch the film too much, as the material is made of natural raw materials,” says Svensson.

Environment

“As an example, 8 years ago we had to prepare a field for cultivation. As we began to plow the land, we found old traditional PE plastic in the soil, which was still there after eight years,” Svensson describes. “I recommend everyone use the product, especially those who are leasing land. It will leave the soil in good condition.”

Facts About Finnerödja

For over 50 years, Finnerödja has been producing strawberries. In 1987, they were taken over by OspAB Finnerödja Bär AB. Today, Finnerödja is a business in Olle Svensson Partiaffär AB and handles about 3.5 million liters of fresh strawberries each year. The strawberry grower company Purple Rösjö Farm AB grows strawberries on 43 hectares and sells the entire crop to Finnerödja and Olle Svensson Partiaffär AB.

About BioAgri Agricultural Film

BioAgri agricultural film, compared to traditional plastic film:

  • Biodegradable in soil
  • Customized life span, tailored for different crops
  • No removal necessary
  • No disposal costs
  • No residues in the field
  • Faster access to the field
  • Certified for organic farming
  • An efficient alternative, in both agronomic and environmental terms to traditional plastic film
  • Saves time and therefore costs required to remove and dispose of traditional plastic film
  • Offers a family of grades fit for purpose

Successful Danish Winegrowers Use BioAgri*

*BioBag Agricultural Film is sold under the name “BioAgri” in European markets and “BioBag Ag Film” in North American markets.

The vines, planted with BioAgri Compostable Film, on the field towards the fjord.

For many years, Hvidlykke Farm in Denmark has focused on organic farming and fruit growing. Niels Esbjerg Jensen and Anders Ørnberg Eriksen, the owners behind Ørnberg Wine, had always believed it was possible to grow wine in Denmark.

In 2007, two winegrowers began making wine. It was intended to be only a hobby, but they have since become very successful winemakers with their multi-award-winning brand Ørnberg Wine.

“Our vision is to create a professional Danish vineyard, producing wine with Danish character and international quality,” says winegrower Niels Esbjerg Jensen.

While they strive to get it right the first time, something they’ve been able to accomplish through studying extensive theoretical knowledge of viticulture from a German winegrower, they are also constantly looking for ways to improve their practices.

Twenty-two hundred vines were planted on one of Hvidlykke Farm’s fields in 2007. This field used traditional plastic to protect the vines from weeds. “But it turned out to be too difficult to remove the plastic film,” says Jensen, adding, “We have spent so much time and energy trying to remove the plastic from the field, but even after eight years, there are still remnants of plastic that pollute the field.”

After 8 years, the conventional plastic films can still be found in the ground.

When Jensen heard it was possible to use compostable film, he was convinced it should be tested in his fields. In the spring of 2015, the first field was planted with new vines and compostable film instead of traditional plastic. The main advantage of compostable films is that one does not have to remove the film since it can be degraded by the microorganisms found naturally in the soil. This property of the compostable film eliminates the need to spend the time and resources that are necessary to later remove plastic films.

The Benefits of Compostable Film for Vineyards

“There are several reasons that we wanted to test BioAgri on the new vineyard,” says Jensen. “With BioAgri, we do not need to worry about removing weeds, and, as organic farmers, we do not use chemicals on our fields. BioAgri keeps the film moisture in the soil, which thereby gives new vines the best conditions for growth.”

Ørnberg Wine expects that the composting process will be underway by August, the year after which new vines were planted. Because of the compostable film, the vines had a good start and have been protected from weeds.

“One of the main benefits of the compostable film is that it disappears by itself. We do not contaminate our soil with plastic,” says Jensen. “In the long run, it will be a cheaper option for us. We used to spend many hours and a lot of money on both the removal and disposal of plastic films after use.”

The Laying of BioAgri Film

Hvidlykke Farm uses the same equipment to lay BioAgri Compostable Film
as they used to place conventional plastic films.

When laying the compostable film, the winegrowers used the same equipment they used with conventional plastic films. “It required some small adjustments of the width to fit the 1 meter wide film, but otherwise, we experienced no difference to traditional plastic film,” says Jensen.

Facts About Ørnberg Wine

Niels Esbjerg Jensen and Anders Ørnberg Eriksen established Ørnberg Wine in 2007. In 2014, production reached 12,000 bottles of wine from almost 7,000 vines. In 2013, the two winegrowers received four awards, including the year’s Best Wine, Best White Wine, Best Rosé, and Best Dessert Wine.

About BioAgri Agricultural Film

BioAgri Agricultural Film, compared to traditional plastic film:

  • Biodegradable in soil
  • Customized life span, tailored for different crops
  • No removal necessary
  • No disposal costs
  • No residues in the field
  • Faster access to the field
  • Certified for organic farming
  • An efficient alternative, in both agronomic and environmental terms to traditional plastic film
  • Saves time and therefore costs required to remove and dispose of traditional plastic film
  • Offers a family of grades fit for purpose

Exciting New Products for Our Green Consumers!

BioBag Resealable Food Storage and Sandwich Bags

Introducing Certified Compostable Sandwich & Storage Bags!

After years of development, BioBag is proud to meet customer demands for Compostable Sandwich and Storage bags. Like all our other traditional products, these revolutionary bioplastic innovations are made from the material Mater-Bi®

The sandwich bags come in Fold Tops and Resealables. These are great for On-The-Go lunches and snacks.

The Resealable Storage Bags zip tight and are great for storing all types of food.

When finished, one can discard the sandwich and storage bags with other compostable waste. BioBag Sandwich and Storage Bags compost right along with other organic waste in a municipal compost facility to create nutrient-rich soil!

Sandwich Resealable Bags

More Wonderful Benefits:

  • Certified Compostable* in a municipal compostable setting
  • Meets ASTM D6400
  • BPA Free – Made without plasticizers or other additives that may be transferred to the food
  • Great Alternative to Polyethylene-Based plastic sandwich and storage bags
  • Prevents / restricts the food from exposure to moisture and oxygen
  • Good for all kinds of foods, including those with high fat and acid content
  • Made from GMO Free crops
  • Great for On-The-Go Uses: Work, school lunches, travel & picnics

We are thrilled to be able to offer these amazing, new compostable products! We hope you are too.

Try the new sandwich and storage bags today!

For individual orders, visit our Featured Retailers: How to Order

For wholesale case orders, contact us directly info@biobagusa.com

*Appropriate facilities may not exist in your area. To find a municipal composting facility, visit findacomposter.com. May not be suitable for home composting depending on your composting method.