Global sustainability is important to us. And so are the ecosystems around us. Sadly, where packaging ends up, isn’t always where it should go. That’s why we are committed to offering BIOPAP® food trays to Australia, that are produced sustainably from renewable, non-food competing, biodegradable and both home and industrial compostable raw materials. Then wherever they end up, they will simply break down without harming the environment.
Although both can be beneficial for the environment, there is a significant difference.
INDUSTRIAL COMPOSTABLE packaging has the ability to biologically decompose and disintegrate only in a commercial composting facility. These facilities are monitored to make sure the required conditions are met. High, stable heat of 55-60 degrees Celsius or above, correct oxygen flow and moisture levels, and the correct balance of carbon and nitrogen. The composting process must occur within a measured period of time and is usually more rapid than home composting. Industrial compostable packaging is a closed-loop solution ONLY if disposed of correctly, otherwise it unnecessarily adds to landfill. As there are only around 150 commercial composting facilities in Australia, not all packaging placed in a recycling bin or intended for a composting facility will make it there. Currently this packaging cannot be home composted.
HOME COMPOSTABLE packaging can be composted at home or in an industrial facility, making it easier to dispose of in an environmentally friendly way. Every component must break down, including any adhesives and printed inks, into organic matter that can become part of organic rich soil. Certified home compostable packaging is a sustainable product that can help reduce landfill, odour, leachate, and greenhouse gas emissions. A clean compost can be created, naturally.
To add to the confusion surrounding Eco-friendly packaging, biodegradable and compostable often get used interchangeably. Biodegradable is the ability of a substance or object to disintegrate by the action of bacteria or other living organisms. The end result should have low environmental impact. While some biodegradable products will break down and return to nature, recently there has been concern for some biodegradable products breaking down into nano-polymers. Although more research needs to be done, these nano-polymers have the potential to cause harm to Eco-systems and even find their way into the food chain. For example through the marine environment; nano-polymers -> microorganisms -> filter feeders -> smaller fish-> larger fish ->human consumption.
Compostable means it must be able to be used as compost (decayed organic matter used for fertilising soil) when it decomposes. Compost is not only great for your home garden, it can be used in many ways including; sustainable food agriculture, urban redevelopment, mine-site rehabilitation and help regenerate soil after bushfires.
So, in short, a compostable product is always biodegradable, but a biodegradable product is not always compostable.
While no packaging at all is the best environmental solution, where packaging is necessary you can make greener choices. However, it isn’t always easy to find true Eco-friendly packaging with the amount of greenwashing occurring. So ask to see the certification that it’s both home and industrial compostable, and therefore also biodegradable.
Recyclable, biodegradable and both home and industrial compostable. Sustainable solutions for the most demanding food-packaging applications. Extremely versatile. Can be used in fridge, freezer, and dual-ovenable, with a temperature range from -40°c to 215°c.
Want sustainable options for sealing your food? We’ve got you covered. Prevent cross-contamination while ensuring the integrity and freshness of your food with our multiple lidding options. Natureline offers transparent biofilm, compostable or recyclable film, and both printed or unprinted hard lids.