You would think a product labelled as "compostable" would be fine to go into the city's FOGO bins
But it's not always the case and Wollongong City Council wants the situation to improve.
With the Local Government NSW annual conference to be held in Sydney next week, the council wants the body to lobby the state government to fix the problem.
At the core of the issue is the use of PFAS and other chemicals in so-called compostable packaging; that was why the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) changed the rules around what was allowed to go into the FOGO bin.
In a stroke all fibre-based products that came into contact with food - from baking paper and coffee filters to pizza boxes and even paper bags - were banned from the bin.
The reason? These products were likely using harmful PFAS substances to provide water and grease resistance in food packaging.
What Wollongong council wanted to see was the EPA and the state government tackle the problem at its source.
The council's motion reads, in part, that the government work to "ensure that there are adequate standards enforced on compostable packaging so it can be processed in municipal FOGO collection schemes".
The business paper for the Local Government NSW conference also speaks of the problem of different rules in various states around Australia prompted by the EPA's ban.
"This has led to inconsistency in FOGO messaging between states, as in South Australia, items such as compostable packaging are permitted," the business paper stated.
"These changes will increase the amount of waste going to landfill.
"It's important that the EPA get to the source of PFAS contamination and prevent them from being used in the manufacture of food packaging."
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