Vancouver Island pizza shop fundraising for compostable plastic equipment
Nestled in the back of a small Brentwood Bay café, the team at Bicycle Pizza is trying to do its part to reduce the use of single-use plastics, one pizza at a time.
To make the move, staff have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $25,000 to purchase plant-based packaging equipment.
Owners of the Vancouver Island business had to look to an Australian company to provide the compostable packaging solution, because a Canadian source for the product is not available.
"A lot of the stuff that is available regionally is only compostable at an industrial level, and Vancouver Island doesn’t have those facilities," said Bicycle Pizza co-owner Andrew Johnson.
"We found an outfit out of Australia that is creating eucalyptus and other plant-based plastics that are certified 'at home' compostable," he said.
Johnson says his frozen pizza business was launched in January. The business now makes more than 1,400 pizzas a month, which are wrapped in excess of 140-square-meters of single-use, plastic.
He says the move to compostable plastic packaging could divert more than 275 kilograms of plastic a year from recycling facilities or landfills on Vancouver Island.
"I don’t accept that we have to be doing environmental harm just to be in business," said Johnson.
"Food and beverage (service) is notorious for the amount of waste that is created because we get our stuff wrapped in plastic and we create garbage so we are looking for a bio-compostable option for packaging our pizza."
Johnson says all the funds raised in the crowdfunding campaign will be used to purchase the compostable packaging, a commercial vacuum sealing machine and additional refrigeration for the frozen pizzas.
"Our company is growing and we want it to grow in a responsible way," he said. "That means taking our current packaging and transitioning it to an at-home compostable product – and in order to do that we need some help from our customers and that’s where the crowdfunding campaign comes in."
To reach its fundraising goal, staff are offering supporters rewards ranging from Bicycle Pizza branded T-shirts for modest donations to a multi-course "long table" dinner for larger contributions.
"It's a small step but an important step and we want to grow our business right, from the beginning," said Johnson.
For information go to the Bicycle Pizza "Plastic Free" campaign website.