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  • Liz Haywood

Home compostable packaging – where are we up to?

When you have been in the packaging industry for as long as Perfect Automations’ Patrick Mercieca and Peter Cumberlege, you see many changes – some good, some not so good.

‘Plastics was one of them. Contributing to the flexible packaging industry and the machinery that run the packaging, we felt a responsibility to find an alternative to the enormous amount of film being pumped into the environment in the name of convenience.’ said Mr Mercieca.

Searching for eco-friendly packaging solutions, Mr Mercieca and Mr Cumberlege initially looked at biodegradable, but further investigation showed compostable films as being a more viable solution. With environmental benefits greatest when avoiding waste, home compostable packaging was the breakthrough they were hoping for – satisfying the criteria of sustainability and environmentally friendly.

Perfect Automation has invested considerable time and money in developing the technology with Parkside Flex UK, to produce environmentally friendly packaging.

The result is a new packaging company, PA Packaging Solutions, with a dedicated team of developers, promoting the first Australian certified home compostable paper and film barrier duplex and triplex lamination film packaging range. This packaging is produced from sustainable tree and plant materials including the binding adhesives and printing inks and is guaranteed to break down in a home compost bin within 26 weeks.

Initial success with home compostable packaging

‘We had no trouble selling home compostable packaging to boutique food manufacturers who have a shared passion for the environment. But we had to find the right combination of films that give the barrier required in the modern logistics chain but equally could run at the high speeds required by todays’ large modern factories on existing machinery’, said Mr Mercieca.

FMCG and home compostable packaging

Mr Mercieca’s experience in bringing packaging machinery and film together, has created home compostable packaging opportunities with major FMCG companies. These companies had been searching for environmentally packaging solutions that was independently certified by recognisable bodies, used on standard packaging machinery, readily available and had barrier qualities for food freshness.

Perfect Automation have recently completed successful factory trials using the home compostable packaging on their existing machines at high production speeds.

‘This is an exciting development, as it means the films and machinery are now available to allow large iconic brands to go to the marketplace with a fully accredited home compostable solution for their products. These food brands can show their consumers they have done their due diligence to deliver a truly environmentally friendly packaging and are no longer contributing to landfill or plastic pollution. This innovative packaging costs a little more but there are none of the other costs involved with new technology, such as changing packaging machinery or slower production lines to deal with. Home compostable packaging is mainstream.’ said Mr Mercieca.

A real game changer

When all barriers have been removed for environmentally friendly packaging and there is a highly experienced company that can support companies of all sizes to migrate their existing packaging into the fully accredited home compostable films, will the major players in the food industry follow? Will the consumer follow and support the home compostable path?

We all need to stand up and pay more than lip service to help the environment.

Visit us at AUSPACK 2019 Stand G215 and see how the combination of Perfect Automation’s machine experience and PA Packaging Solutions complete range of home compostable films can get your business started on its sustainable journey.

About Patrick Mercieca

Patrick Mercieca has 30 years’ experience with all types of packaging machinery running traditional films and finding innovative solutions for his clients to improve their business and food production. He has always been interested in alternatives to plastics and finding new ways to package food and packaging in general that was better for our environment.

For more information about home compostable or sustainable packaging please send us an email at

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