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Sugarcane

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Plant Starch

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Wood Fibre

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Wood

Our Products

We sell biodegradable packaging for food. It lasts as long as it’s needed – not longer.

  • All our products are made from plant raw materials.
  • Biodegradable packaging is completely compostable.
  • Use biodegradable packaging to achieve zero waste.
  • Plant materials are renewable, sustainable and have a lower environmental footprint.
  • Plant materials are natural and non- toxic, so are our products.

Our Products

We sell biodegradable packaging for food. It lasts as long as it’s needed – not longer.

  • All our products are made from plant raw materials.
  • Biodegradable packaging is completely compostable.
  • Use biodegradable packaging to achieve zero waste.
  • Plant materials are renewable, sustainable and have a lower environmental footprint.
  • Plant materials are natural and non- toxic, so are our products.

Latest News

Can Dump Sites Break Down Compostable Packaging?

We often get asked if our products break down in landfill. The short answer is yes, they will break down eventually. But really, nothing breaks down well in landfill, and zero waste to landfill is what we should all be aiming for. This article outlines what happens in a landfill and why we need to find a better solution. It also explains why compostables are still the way to go, even if they do end up in a landfill. A Dead End Landfill is not so much a waste management strategy as a last resort. It’s a big pile of all the things we throw out – a storage space for trash. That’s why we call it the dump. And a lot of what ends up there doesn’t belong there. Most especially organic waste. A lot of people think that all the banana peels, apple cores, left over pizza and other kitchen scraps they send to landfill simply break down into lovely soil. This is definitely not the case. Landfill has the wrong conditions for anything to break down. Any food will be sandwiched between layers of plastic, which blocks oxygen. Plus, the waste is compacted, further reducing oxygen. Under these conditions, organic waste will either not break down at all, or will slowly rot, releasing methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. Breaking the Natural Cycle Unlike old plastic packaging and toothbrushes that can’t be recycled, organic waste is part of nature and always has a purpose. It contains the building blocks of life and can be reused again, and again, and again. We interrupt this natural cycle when we send it to landfill. South Africa is also rapidly running out of landfill space. And close to 40% of the waste we send to landfill is organic. Finding environmentally friendly solutions for organics, like composting, is essential to alleviate pressure on landfills and reduce our carbon footprint. The Compostable Packaging Solution The best end of life scenario for compostable packaging is always composting. They will likely remain fairly inert in a landfill. But compostables are still the best solution, even if they don’t get composted (yet). They are made from renewable plants instead of polluting fossil fuels and are much less damaging than plastic if they end up in the environment. And they are a major step towards bringing our human systems into sync with nature’s cycles and systems. Diverting organic waste (and indeed all waste) from landfills won’t happen overnight, but it must happen. We simply can’t keep creating mountains of trash.

Green Home Interviews: Emile Fourie – Industrial Composter

Emile Fourie became an entrepreneur because he saw a flawed system and wanted to do something about it. His company, YWaste, offer a green alternative to landfill which includes a composting service. Emile tells me he’s trying to create a better existence. And he knows that to create change within his chosen arena, the waste sector, he needs to shift mentalities and behaviour. Building a better system means getting people to think and act differently when it comes to their trash. It means building awareness around how and what we throw away. I sat down with Emile to find out what makes him tick and learn more about YWaste. I also hoped he could help demystify industrial composting for our audience. The word ‘industrial’ in front of the word ‘composting’ seems to throw a lot of people off, but it’s actually very simple. From Swimming Teacher to Industrial Composter A decade ago, back in 2009, Emile began what he calls his research and development phase into composting. While working as a swimming teacher for kids, he started making worm farms on Friday afternoons, which he sold at a Saturday market. Ten years later, he is composting on a much larger scale. His company manages waste for numerous clients and prevents more than 1500 tons of organic waste from going to landfill annually. YWaste manages to divert an impressive 90-95% of the waste they process from landfill. They provide a service where waste is either collected or dropped off and all organic waste, including compostable packaging, is composted. They also have a waste separation plant, where organic waste wrapped in non-compostable plastic can be unwrapped. All recyclable waste is recycled with local recyclers. Treat Your Compostable Packaging Just Like Food Waste I ask Emile how people should handle their organic waste and compostable packaging when using his service. “Combine it all in one bin.” He says people should see compostable packaging as an organic material, like a potato peel or tomato skin. He treats them the same, it’s all part of the same organic waste stream. Having a dedicated bin for all your organic waste and keeping it separate from recycling and landfill waste, obviously makes the process easier. What is Industrial Composting? Industrial composting is at the heart of the YWaste solution, so I asked Emile for his definition of what it is. Emile: It means composting waste on an industrial, not a residential, scale. Cassandra: I’ve always thought of it as piles that are big enough to need machines to turn them. Emile: Not necessarily. You could have a long windrow which a group of people turn by hand. It’s really all about scale. And there you have it from a man in the know. Industrial composting is simply composting on a large scale. Think big compost piles and big volumes. Machinery can be used but isn’t essential at all. Growing Skills Emile goes on to say that in South Africa we need more industrial solutions which are less automated. He highlights how this represents a huge opportunity to integrate skills into business while creating jobs. It’s a way to pull people out of poverty. Over time, workers can move up the skills chain, taking on increasing responsibility. Emile has implemented this in his own business. While he does use some machinery, he also applies low automation approaches. And he encourages employees to up-level their skills to the point where they are skilled enough to start their own operations. He also feels there is scope to replicate the YWaste business model in different communities. The model can simply be adapted to suit the needs of the people using it. He sees potential for composting to exist in the informal economy, providing waste management solutions for informal settlements. Service delivery in informal settlements is poor and many receive little to no waste management services. Emile’s vision includes finding integrative solutions for waste management in informal settlements by engaging with community members to find integrative solutions. He believes the YWaste model can be adapted to provide them with essential and much needed services, with community ownership. Green Jobs, and a Lower Carbon Footprint Emile’s vision makes a lot of practical sense within the South African context. There is enormous scope for composting to grow in South Africa. And this is a massive opportunity to create green jobs and develop skills. At the same time, this can significantly help alleviate our landfill crisis – we are rapidly running out of landfill space and close to 40% of the waste we send to landfill is compostable organics. This organic waste rots and releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, while it sits in landfill, so diverting and composting it will lower our country’s carbon footprint. It all comes down to what Emile told me at the start of our conversation: he’s trying to create a better existence and fix a broken system. It’s a vision that’s very in-line with our vision at GREEN HOME. We know there’s a much better way to do things, both when it comes to using packaging and managing our waste. But to bring about transformation and realize the benefits of a better system, we must act. We are the agents of change.

Green Home in the News this July 2019

This Plastic Free July we’re chatting up a storm with South Africa’s media. The plastic pollution crisis is a hot topic and we’re doing all we can to get our plant-based and biodegradable message out there. We were thrilled to join the conversation live on SABC3, ETV, Cape Talk and Mix FM. Afternoon Express on SABC3 GREEN HOME’s marketing manager, Guy Cronje, was on SABC3’s Afternoon Express on 17 July 2019. On the show, he chatted one-to-one with Jeannie D, before joining the lively panel chat and wrap up at the end. Check out the clips via the links below: Pippa’s Planet on Cape Talk GREEN HOME’s Guy Cronje joined Pippa Hudson on her afternoon show, Pippa’s Planet, on Cape Talk radio on 19 July. They had a very informative and fast-paced chat with listeners calling in and messaging their questions. Listen to the interview via the link below. The Morning Show on ETV GREEN HOME’s Phindi Dlamini and Guy Cronje joined forces to shed light on our plastic problem and how biodegradable packaging can help. They had a great conversation with William Lehong on The Morning Show on ETV on 23 July. You can watch a recording of the show here. Breakfast with Blewitt on MixFM Guy Cronje also chatted live on air with Tony Blewitt in Johannesburg on the Breakfast with Blewitt show on MixFM on 22 July. If you’d like to hear the recording, click on their logo below to download and listen.

GREEN HOME is a carbon neutral company. To see our offset certificate click here.