Author: Rachael Ridley
Planet Ark is proud to announce our partnership with Alliance Paper. The collaboration will encourage businesses to choose safer paper products for our health and the environment.
Alliance Paper, a Queensland-based supplier of specialised paper products, is at the forefront of an industry shift that aims to eventually phase out the use of chemicals of concern in thermal paper and food packaging.
The first major goal of the partnership is to transition the retail industry away from using thermal till receipts which contain the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) currently used at many checkouts around Australia.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it can interfere with the system in the human body which produces hormones. The chemical caused concern over its use in baby bottles, until it was eventually voluntarily phased out by major Australian retailers in 2010. There are concerns that frequent exposure may cause reproductive health effects among retail workers, and that BPA has the potential to accumulate in the food chain or waterways as it is not readily biodegradable.
While there are no plans to restrict use of the chemical in Australia, despite regulations in place in Europe*, Alliance Paper has opted to use alternatives to BPA of its own accord. Its ultimate goal is to produce paper that is completely free of chemicals of concern, a move which Planet Ark supports.
The partnership will also include collaboration on the implementation of Alliance Paper’s Core Reuse Program – a return and reuse service for the plastic cores inside till receipt rolls.
Alliance Paper have transitioned away from thick unrecyclable cardboard cores to reusable plastic ones that can be recirculated at least seven times. The collection service for large businesses could save the equivalent of 1.5 Melbourne trams full of plastic from going to landfill each year. As thought leaders in the Circular Economy, Planet Ark is excited about this initiative because it employs circular economy principles by ensuring the potential of the material is not wasted.
Planet Ark will also work with Alliance Paper to provide the food packaging and food service industry with a safer and more environmentally responsible alternative to single-use plastics and plastic-lined paper. Planet Ark has endorsed Alliance Paper’s Rollo Wrap – a greaseproof paper product that is free of chemicals of concern and is both recyclable (with minimal food and grease contamination) and compostable.
Many food packaging options available include chemicals of concern, such as PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which may have adverse health and environmental impacts. Rollo Wrap’s renewable coating is completely natural and free of chemicals of concern. The product has the potential to considerably reduce environmental and human exposure to chemicals of concern, as it can be used in a wide range of food applications, such as pizza box liners, deli wrapping and bakery items.
*The European Parliament and the Council passed Regulation (EU) No. 2016/ 2235 requiring that thermal paper with a BPA concentration equal or higher than 0.02 wt% will no longer be allowed to be marketed from 2 January 2020 onwards.
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