If you are wondering if compostable or bio plastics are the right thing for your business, or if you should accept them at the lunchtime takeaway counter then read on!
As the world seeks to get a handle on plastic pollution and the issues of our single-use throwaway culture, compostable and bioplastics are being presented as the solution to plastic pollution. And with terms like bio or compostable, which we all understand to be as natural as a rotting apple core; why wouldn't they be?
So lets take a look at how natural and a good solution they really are,
For a plastic to describe itself as compostable or biodegradable it has been certified to EN13432 standards which means that it will break down within 90 days in a composting facility at 60 degrees (In-vessel composters).
SO.... this rules out it becoming compost if it goes:
WHATS MORE....if they end up in a kerbside food caddy, the reality is that they will get pulled out at the depackaging process, that pulls out all the plastics and packaging that affect the quality of the compost being produced.
THEREFORE... if you are a business that wants to use them you need to organise a collection to a plant that will accept compostable plastics- around 20-25 in the UK (usually in-vessel composters).
New 'edible' materials
There are new developments happening all the time in the world of packaging, such as the seaweed sachets and water balls, as well as sweet wrappers being developed out of waste beer materials (not sure if you will have to over 18 to eat the sweets). The thing with all these materials including plastics is to consider:
Are there any benefits to these materials?
This is one of the topics we will be discussing in the upcoming course 'Tackling Single-use Plastics in the Workplace'. We will consider the benefits of these materials versus recycled plastic packaging and other materials.
If this is one of your challenges as a business, you are not alone. We will share case studies of businesses who have been on a journey with their packaging, plus updates on the changes in the law and latest developments.
For more green business tips and behaviour change tricks