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Turning food waste into compostable bioplastic tableware, containers

June 4, 2019   Don Horne

Sodexo today formalized its partnership with Toronto’s Genecis Bioindustries Inc., taking a step toward a global circular economy of turning food waste into compostable tableware and containers.

Genecis is a cleantech startup that uses programmed bacteria to digest food waste and turn it into biodegradable plastic granules – granules that can be later used to make compostable bioplastic.

“Of all the companies we came across, Sodexo is among the rare few who has deeply embedded concepts of sustainability and food reduction into their corporate structure, development, and in every major decision. We cannot be more delighted to partner with Sodexo and collaborate towards building a better tomorrow,” said Luna Yu, CEO of Genecis.

Genecis is an early-stage organic waste processor that uses biotechnology to convert food waste into polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHAs) biodegradable plastics and fertilizer. The technology reduces the time and cost of making PHAs by as much as 40 per cent. The two-step process is based on two groups of specialized bacteria used throughout the process: the first group digests food waste, producing short-chain carbons as volatile fatty acids, which acts as the precursor feedstock for the second group, which eats these carbons and converts them into bioplastics.


“We’re excited about the future of this partnership with Genecis. We are continuously evolving our services to improve quality of life, and this  requires innovation and collaboration with cutting-edge startups like Genecis,” said Suzanne Bergeron, president Sodexo Canada.

Genecis’ new technology offers an alternative to organic waste going into landfills and producing huge amounts of greenhouse gases. This partnership strengthens Sodexo’s goal to reduce food waste by 50 per cent from its operations by 2025 and to reduce our carbon footprint by 34 per cent.

Genecis and Sodexo began working together over a year ago. A pilot project in the Toronto area diverted more than 1,430 kilograms of food waste and 1,210 kilograms of CO2 gas emissions in six months. Sodexo’s global reach will allow the program to be expanded to other sites around the world.

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