Our New Home Compostable Packaging
Most plastic bags for store cupboard items are not recyclable, so we are delighted to now be using home compostable packaging for all of our Planet Organic store cupboard products, from red rice to apple chips and flaked almonds to gluten free oats.
Our new bags are made from two layers of material for strength; FSC certified sustainable eucalyptus chippings and GM-free corn, stuck together with home compostable glue. The bag has been certified by the TUV as OK Home Compostable and even though we hope they don’t end up here, they are certified as marine compostable too. When these bags break down, they will leave no toxic residue, unlike biodegradable or plastic packaging.
How do I dispose of it?
If your local council collects food waste separately, pop it in there, or chuck it onto your garden compost heap, if you have one. When disposing with food waste to the council, we’d recommend snipping it up into smaller pieces to avoid it being removed.
We know these options aren’t available for everyone, so if you dispose of these bags with your other waste, it will break down in landfill too and not leave any toxic residue. The bags will compost within one to two years, depending on the conditions.
Composability is a characteristic of a product or packaging that allows it to biodegrade under specific conditions. Composting can reduce the volume of organic waste quite significantly, while the compost produced can be used for agricultural and horticultural purposes. About 50% of all domestic waste comprises organic material, a percentage that is set to grow in the future due to the growing popularity of biodegradable products like packaging, disposable cutlery and plates etc.
So, what’s the difference between industrially compostable, home compostable and biodegradable?
Biodegradable means it will eventually break down. It is not going to stay at landfill for decades or hundreds of years.
Compostable, on the other hand, means it is not only going to break down, but it is also not going to leave any toxic residues during the process of breaking down. There are different levels of composability which depend on time, temperature and oxygen levels.
Industrially compostable means that packaging can only be broken down in an industrial composting plant. It requires very high temperatures and very low oxygen levels during this process. It can be broken down in around 180 days under the right conditions.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of Industrial Composting Sites available in the UK. Most councils also cannot deal with industrially compostable materials due to lack of infrastructure.
Home compostable does not require higher temperatures or a lack of oxygen to break down, therefore it can break down without special industrial conditions.