Compostable packaging is made of plant-based recyclable materials that break down naturally when placed in the soil, creating no harmful toxins.
The environmental impact of non-compostable Packaging
Plastic packaging can be burnt or is disposed of in landfills in which it takes several hundred years for the material to degrade.
The breakdown of this package releases greenhouse gases like methane that contribute to climate change.
Furthermore microplastics and toxins leak into the soil and pollute plant and the biodiversity of water as in human water sources. Furthermore habitats are destroyed due to flames that are triggered by the build-up of harmful gasses.
Toxins can have a negative effect on air quality which can lead to a greater risk of respiratory, gastro and nervous system issues as well as life-threatening illnesses like cancer among those who reside near landfills and incinerators.
In addition, packaging that’s not recycled may be consumed by marine animals or cause wildlife to choke.
What are the Benefits from Compostable Packaging
Compostable packaging can provide many benefits:
- It requires less carbon create
- It decreases the amount of waste that is sent to landfills and incinerators.
- Its disposal at the end of life is ecologically sustainable, supplying the earth with life-sustaining nutrients once it has fully degraded.
With the way that consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious are these days (they are expecting packaging to be sustainable! ) Utilizing compostable packaging will enhance the perception of your company.
Compostable Packaging Materials
Compostable packaging is constructed by combining organic and recycled natural materials as well as plant-based raw materials like wood pulp, potato starch, or cotton.
Examples of compostable packaging that is fully compostable are cardboard boxes, garden twine and bubble wrap.
There are companies such as Kempner that have years of expertise in the industry of packaging.
These companies can assist in selecting eco-friendly packaging options and can help you determine the most suitable methods of disposal.
They also can help reduce any negative impact on the environment by providing products like shrinkwrap such as sugarcane polyolefin which has up to 51 sugarcane cellulose.
Sugar cane is one the most environmentally friendly materials available that is available; when sugar cane is made it sucks up carbon dioxide away from the air, while the production of standard polythene based on oil release carbon dioxide to the air.
Alongside being constructed of natural substances, shrinkwrap film can also be compostable.
Consumer awareness of composting
The term “compostable” frequently results in confusion. A lot of people believe it means that the item is able to be disposed of in the garden because they are conscious about compost being a popular fertilizer for plants.
In the real world, compostable packaging has to be separated from all other material that require processing and properly removed so that the most sustainable environmental impact can be realized.
Home composting is an effective option to decrease the amount of garbage that ends in the landfill. However there are a few consumers who can compost their food waste and not all who can know of how to properly compost.
Cardboard is compostable, but it’s bulky to transport
While it is thought of as a sustainable option for packaging due to its compostability manufacturing of cardboard consumes lots of water, produces high carbon dioxide emissions, and encourages destruction of forests if it is not made responsibly.
Additionally it is bulky to move (i.e. the emissions from burning it up) and requires a significant quantity of space for storage.
Many people don’t know that cardboard isn’t recyclable or composted if infected with leftover food items (e.g. pizza grease). Shrinkwrap can be composted and occupies less space than cardboard packaging.
Council Food Waste Schemes
UK councils arrange regular collection of both household waste and commercial waste, including food waste.
While certain food wastes are inevitable, like eggshells, tea bags and apple cores, a lot of households discard food items that have gone bad or passed its “use by” or “best before date.
Fun/horrifying statistics – A third of the world’s food production is wasted as food waste, and the UK generates ~9.5 million tons of wasted food each year, most of which end up in the landfill.
Food-related compostable shrinkwrap packaging can help reduce food waste, as well as being eco-friendly.
Shrinkwrap is leading the way
Shrinkwrap isn’t just constructed from PVC and polyethylene. It is a significant environmental advancement in the industry of packaging, new shrinkwrap is recyclable and biodegradable. produced from plants, such as sugarcane and corn starch.
The greener shrinkwrap films can contain as much as 20% of natural raw materials, and are fully in line with EC laws in addition to ASTM standards for biodegradability and ecological toxicity.
They are also able to be used to package food items since they are rated with an LDPE rating of 4.
If you are concerned about the cost Concerning costs, even though compostable shrinkwrap is a little more costly than plastic shrinkwrap, it works with the majority of current shrinkwrap equipment, minimizing the cost of production.
The introduction of the new Plastic Packaging Tax
With the upcoming launch of the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) in April 2022, more businesses are likely to look toward more sustainable packaging options and will be putting a lot of thought into the possibility of recycling.
The PPT covers packaging with less than 30% recycled materials for businesses that manufacture or import less than the amount of 10 tons each year.
Unfortunately the recycling of plastics doesn’t currently encompass “organic recycling”, so environmentally sustainable shrinkwraps such as sugarcane polyolefin is still subject to taxation under the PPT.
This regulation is currently being reviewed by the government because it is not in line with the original goal of reducing plastics the tax.