Zero Waste Solution for Single-use Foodware

Abstract/Technology Overview

Waste generated from single-use foodware remains an unresolved problem, with most ending up in the landfill and no means to recycle sustainably. Globally, there is estimated to be at least a trillion pieces of single-use foodware used each year, amounting to 8 million tonnes of waste yearly.

We offer a closed-loop solution that sustainably recycle single-use foodware. Our solution is a system that can rapidly convert single-use foodware, including food waste, into mineral-rich commercial compost. We take used and disposed foodware, preconsumer food scraps (kitchen waste) and postconsumer food waste (plate waste) through a digestion process which converts these wastes rapidly into organic fertilizer within 24hrs.

The ecosystem comprises of 3 main parts: the use of our proprietary material for single-use foodware, the digestion technology and our compost enrichment technology.

The solution is a good match to food services providers who are looking to address food waste concerns and the sustainable disposal of single-use foodware. This can be a zero waste solution for them.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

Our technology is an industry first in the 24hr composting of foodware waste. By industry composting standards such as the ASTM6400 and EN13432, foodware need to be composted within 6 months in an industrial composting site to be labelled as compostable-grade. Our material has out-performed these composting standards by 180x using our proprietary digestion process. 

There is currently no sustainable mass-market solution to dispose off compostable foodware, specifically the bioplastic material. If left to degrade in the open environment, bioplastics can take up to tens of years to degrade if not given the right conditions. In landfill, which they end up most of the time, bioplastics takes a few hundred years and do not degrade any better than plastic waste. If sent to be recycled in materials recovery facility, bioplastics are removed from the process because it is a contaminant in plastic recycling operations. When being incinerated, one will question the purpose of its compostability. In industrial composting sites, they simply get piled up over months, requiring large land areas and prohibitive resource cost to manage. Thus, it is not uncommon for most commercial composting sites to refuse bioplastic waste.

In the food industry, there lacks an integrated and speedy solution that can digest both foodware and food waste together. We believe the convenience enabled by combining both waste, and the fast turnaround, in this case 24hrs, is the tipping point for mass adoption of food waste recycling.

Potential Applications

Primary application: The deployment in food establishment that uses disposable packaging such as fast food, catering, etc.

Other application areas or market: The technology can be extended to look at the treatment of bioplastic waste from other industry, such as the use in non-food packaging.

Potential Products: Various archetypes of foodware and food packaging products can be developed based on our proprietary material, which is capable of extrusion coating, injection molding and blow molding. The digestion technology can also be re-developed for different target users, such as for industrial composting facilities or even home users.

Customer Benefit

The system will allow foodservice providers like fastfood chains, restaurants, and café to continue using single-use foodware responsibly without the guilt factor. Benefits are listed below:

  • A zero-waste approach for their canteen and food premises, where foodware and food waste can be converted into mineral-rich compost
  • The convenience of recycling two waste concurrently: single-use foodware waste and food waste
  • Allow the recycling of food waste without the hassle of sorting and separating the waste, hence avoiding additional manpower cost
  • Allow the convenience of using single-use foodware without the concern of creating waste
  • The option to use the mineral-rich compost for their own farms

Technology Owner

Pei Kang Ng


TRIA Pte Ltd

Technology Category
  • Packaging / Storage
  • Bio Materials
  • Waste Management & Recycling
  • Sorting
Technology Status
  • Available for Licensing
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 9

Zero waste, single-use, foodware, bio24, sustainable, packaging, bioplastic, digestion, composting