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How Compostable and Biodegradable Packaging Differs

For over a decade The Packaging People have been offering innovative eco-friendly packaging to our customers, but what does it really mean when something is biodegradable versus compostable? Are they the same thing? Read on for the differences between compostable and biodegradable packaging for your business. 

What is Biodegradable Packaging?

Biodegradable packaging is created with materials that are easy to break down into a natural, healthy state over time. They do not contain artificial or toxic materials, which can be released into the air or earth as they decompose. The best natural biodegradable material is unprinted natural paper or plant products, such as vegetable scraps, or our biodegradable packaging cylinders. Under normal composting conditions the natural components will break down harmlessly into the soil, creating the natural biproducts carbon dioxide, water and natural minerals, which leave no toxic residue. They will usually decompose quite quickly, depending on your composting conditions. 

What is Compostable Packaging?

Most people understand the process of composting, and how natural materials break down over time if they are subjected to a combination of moisture, heat and oxygen. Compostable packaging refers to packaging that will break down into natural components over time. Some compostable packaging is home compostable, whilst other commercially compostable packaging requires the high temperatures and moisture conditions of a commercial recycling facility to break down quickly. If a packaging material is designated compostable it will break down into natural, non-toxic components. It is preferable, however, to choose compostable packaging that is easily compostable for anyone, such as home compostable or biodegradable packaging, rather than commercially compostable packaging. 

Biodegradable Packaging vs. Compostable Packaging

The time it takes for something to decompose is significant when it comes to environmentally friendly packaging. Everything decomposes, but the distinction lies in whether it will take a few months, or many years. Choosing a packaging material that is more easily compostable at home over a shorter period is of course preferable. This is because this material reduces the amount of waste that goes into your garbage and recycling bins. Both compostable and biodegradable packaging is eco-friendly and will decompose harmlessly and naturally into the environment. 

How Biodegradable Packaging Helps the Environment

Biodegradable packaging is designed to break down quickly under normal compostable conditions. If you choose to compost at home, you can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill or recycling centres. If biodegradable packaging finds its way into our landfill or waterways it will naturally and rapidly decompose within months and not leave behind toxins or waste that is hazardous to humans or animals.

Is Biodegradable Packaging as Sturdy as Standard Packaging?

Our biodegradable range of packaging boxes and sturdy cylinders are durable packaging items, no less sturdy than standard packaging. Under the right conditions, such as a dry location away from moisture, they will last a long time and can even be reused by your customers. 

Contact the Packaging People online or give us a call on 03 8361 8063 to ask about our eco-friendly packaging products for your business.