Environmental Commitment

From our very first event, we have always been committed to lowering our impact on the environment.  Many improvements have been made over time, and we are constantly striving for better.  Not all environmental improvements we have done are obvious, for example our machines require the use of gas due to the extreme heat required to pop our big batches.  We have engineered a machine together with our gas guy which uses 1/2 the amount of gas, for equivalent BTU output.  We also reduce food wastage.  All un-popped kernels (dead maids) and scraps are collected and passed on to farmers to use as feed filler / snacks for farm animals.  

We realise our biggest impact is our packaging.  Unfortunately to keep the longevity of our popcorn, and therefore reducing product wastage (which includes the resources to make it) we require to use plastic (LDPE & PET) packaging.  This provides the best protection against moisture and oxygen while still being recyclable.  Over the years we have tried countless “eco” options including vegetable-based plastic, bio-degradable, and even waxed paper.  Not only did these packaging options perform poorly, when you investigate the full impact in production and disposal, most of these are greenwash and do more damage than simply using oil-based plastics and recycling them.  Our bags are custom made to a thickness that is well-balanced for the job.  Our PET plastic buckets and cups both have lids so they can be resealed and maintain product freshness, but more importantly they can be refilled at a discounted price.  Truely reusable, just like the classic KeepCup used at coffee shops.

To help promote the recycling of our plastic bags, we have partnered up with RedCycle (Proudly the smallest company in their partners cloud :-)) to ensure the bags have been approved for recycling at any RedCycle drop-off point, and to help educate customers that yes – soft plastics can be recycled.  To push recycling even more, we have established a recycling loyalty scheme that is becoming very popular now.  Bring back 10 Popcorn Man / Corny Popcorn bags and receive a Free bag of popcorn!  We collect the bags and drop them off at the recycling drop-off point.   

Current RedCycle situation (from our social pages): 09/11/2022

Popcorn Man has been a partner with RedCycle for a number of years now. Being a RedCycle partner means our products are certified recyclable and we pay our annual fee to cover the cost of recycling our share of bags sent out to the community.

It is extremely frustrating reading the articles some media companies regurgitate about the current situation RedCycle is facing. Firstly, RedCycle did not collapse. As with many industries, the lockdowns and extreme pandemic measures have caused havoc and unexpected changes to many industries. Many forced to close doors. RedCycle is an organisation which collects recyclable soft plastics, and outsources the recyclable material to industries who have the facilities to recycle them into reusable products. Their other role of course is to promote sensible and environmentally waste management to the community – i.e. keeping plastic bags out of landfill and the general environment.

With many industries struggling to cope, closing their doors, or simply needing to change their business model, RedCycle have found it challenging to move its collected soft plastics to be recycled. Rather than disposing them into landfill, they have done the right thing and stored them all the while working hard to find new partners who will and can recycle it. They simply have run out of storage space and have had to put a hold on collecting soft plastic at the two biggest supermarkets for the time being (estimated 6 months).

Going forward

We are investigating in a promising plastic alternative produced from hemp.  Fingers crossed it will become a viable option for many industries as long as the bureaucrats don’t keep blocking it.  We are also investigating a new rigid paper-based sealable cup that completely disintegrates in water over 48hrs, but is apparently air-tight.  

Do you know of a viable solution?  Please share it with us. .Get in touch