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Start-up unveils plastic-free business packaging

Grounded co-founders Ben Grant and Josh Kempton

Businesses looking to boost their environmental credentials by reducing their use of plastics are the focus of an Aussie start-up that has developed a compostable form of packaging.

Sydney-based Ben Grant and Josh Kempton founded the business Grounded, in a bid to introduce plastic-free packaging options to the market.

Instead of single-use plastics traditionally used in packaging, Grounded has developed packaging materials made from bio-based materials.

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A spokesperson for the company noted that most bioplastics originate from corn, wheat or potatoes.

Grounded selects films are based on cellulose, one of the most naturally abundant organic materials. This cellulose is derived from renewable wood pulp that is sustainably harvested from managed forests, they said.

Depending on the grade of film, the bio-based content can vary from 30 per cent to 85 per cent. All of the films we use are certified to European and American compostability protocol.

Under the right conditions for composting, Grounded packaging disintegrates into water, carbon dioxide and organic matter that bacteria then degrade, leaving nothing behind.

The alternative packaging has already been trialled by Bostock Brothers, a New Zealand-based organic chicken company, as part of a trial across the Tasman.

Mr Grant previously co-founded New Zealand-based restaurant chain Bird on a Wire, which became a multimillion-dollar enterprise before it was sold at the beginning of this year.

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“If businesses want to continue to win the hearts, minds and wallets of customers, the transition to compostable flexible plastics is must-have, not a consideration,” Mr Grant said.

“At the end of the day, you can’t put a price on the planet, and a positive reputation.”

Mr Grant said that his experience in the hospitality industry made him acutely aware of the amount of plastic being used, and disposed of, throughout the company’s supply chain.

“As a result, [Bird on a Wire] became one of the first hospitality businesses in New Zealand to go fully compostable,” he said.

“It was this simple transition which inspired me to create a business which has the size and scale to support thousands of companies across Australasia in their efforts to implement circular economic processes and ultimately help clean up our oceans.”

Another Australian business, Detpak, last year unveiled a new recyclable single-use coffee cup, which omits the plastic water-proof lining that typically sees used cups end up in landfill.

Earlier this year, drinks maker Corona teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to produce a National Geographic documentary about the prevalence of plastic waste in our oceans and beaches, and ultimately in our food chain.

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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