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Biodegradable vs Compostable

Let's face it, we are clearly confused with the terms for an "environmentally better"  product.  We call things eco, environmentally friendly, sustainable, degradable etc.  But what do all of these mean?

Without going into the detail of how many of these terms may be used, let's just say that there are really only 2 definitive classifications for an environmentally better disposable product.  The first is Biodegradable and the second is Compostable.

Biodegradable means - able to be broken down by bacteria or other living organisms;  capable of being decomposed by biological means.

So that's great isn't it?  Bacteria and other organisms can eat and gnaw at it until it breaks down.  But breaks down into what?  And how long would it take?  Some plastics have been labelled as biodegradable (eg oxobiodegradable) simply following the definition that it can break down. There are allegations that biodegradable plastics may release metals and in some circumstances take a long time to degrade into millions of tiny fragments of plastic.  For marine-life, especially shellfish, microplastics are even worse because they can easily be ingested.  CSIRO scientists have recently identified that our Coral Polyps are actually 'attracted' to microplastics which they try to eat and gets stuck in their gut.

But is this really an acceptable "environmentally better" solution?

At Biopackaging, we go out of our way to find those things which meet the ultimate criteria of environmentally friendliness.  That is, we are always on the lookout for compostable tableware and packaging.

Compostable means - able to be broken down into compost; able to decompose into humus which is an organic material good for growing plants.  Thus allowing nature to start the cycle all over again.

The classification of Compostable is pretty strict.  It follows the certification EN13432 which states that the material must turn into an organic material within a period of 90days.  So we reason that Compostable is the best way to go forward for the environment since we are realistic that packaging in all its forms will always be required for businesses to present and deliver their products to their customers.

Please keep coming back to our website as we continue to refine our product lines to reflect a more earth-friendly approach to packaging.