Terms that define packaging qualities like “Compostable,” Biodegradable,” and “Oxo-degradable” can be challenging to understand. This article will help to clarify the differences, so next time, when you design with the flexible plastic packaging, will help you in various approaches to solve the global challenge, you’ll be thoroughly ready to do it!
Newly published research by the University of Plymouth investigated which one plastic is better for the environment – compostable, biodegradable, or oxo-degradable. It is mystifying because people knew the differences between the three – until it was clarified that compostable marked bags do act differently to those marked biodegradable or oxo-degradable when it gets to the breakdown in water and soil, and overall impact on the environment.
When picking between packaging choices, it’s essential to make a clear difference between biodegradable, compostable, and oxo-degradable and get the properties of each, as they mean very different things, with very different implications for their particular end-of-life scenarios.
Industrial compostable packaging will degrade in industrial composting environments within the specified time of 180 days under composting provisions – high humidity, high temperature, and the presence of microorganisms. The plastic is broken down by the microorganisms as per the environment is given in a specified time. It leaves no toxic residues behind.
Why compostable matters?
Plastic packaging waste is usually too contaminated with food waste or the environment to be fit for recycling and is finally sent for incineration or landfill. This is where compostable packaging comes in. Not only would landfill and burning can be avoided, but the compost would restore the organic matter to the soil.