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Compostable Vs. Recyclable: How Packaging Policy Can Help

Compostable Vs. Recyclable: How Packaging Policy Can Help

Oct 17,2023
It's easy for people to get used to a routine and get used to doing things in a consistent way. When we first started, the bags the jerseys were shipped in were plastic. This is hardly something to note since most items are shipped in plastic bags or boxes; after all, it is a versatile material, and since we individually package our jerseys to easily distribute them among our teams, protective, lightweight materials are the perfect choice. But it's sobering to pile up all the packages from a single-team jersey order and know that each one is destined for a landfill. What's the alternative?

Weigh Your Options

Packaging is used to transport goods safely from producer to consumer. Packaging types vary greatly depending on the product and the protective materials required to ensure safe arrival. For obvious reasons, eggs require different packaging than Ultimate Jersey. In terms of sustainability, a piece of packaging can be classified into one of three categories: recyclable, compostable, and non-biodegradable. Non-biodegradable packaging can sometimes be recycled, so for our purposes, we'll call it recyclable.

Seven of the ten most commonly removed types of trash from the ocean are plastic. We can start changing this trend by choosing our packaging carefully. But which packaging type is better? If we want to choose from biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable materials, which one should we choose and why? What's the difference between them?

Recyclable vs. biodegradable?

Materials that can be broken down and reused are considered recyclable. Materials that break down without causing harm to the environment are considered biodegradable. Materials that break down into nutrient-rich soil are considered compostable. Everything that is compostable is biodegradable, but not the other way around. Be sure to check your city's policy regarding compostable bags, although not every area has the infrastructure to properly dispose of compostable bags.

In the past, compostable bags were considered a less structurally sound and more expensive option, but in most cases, this is no longer the case. These packages serve their purpose as well as any oil-based material. This means compostable packaging is the best option because it will degrade until it turns into soil that can be used to grow new, healthy plants.

Biodegradable packaging does not harm the environment and provides a way to transport goods from one place to another with no impact on the environment. Biodegradable materials are a huge improvement over regular plastics that don't break down, and sourcing them is easier than ever. However, while some biodegradable materials are well suited to the environment, the processes used to make them or the conditions required for their breakdown may involve chemicals that can harm the environment.

Biodegradable materials tend to take much longer to decompose than compostable materials. However, the biodegradable packaging industry has been pushing boundaries, allowing companies to test and try new technologies that are good for themselves and the environment. While compostable materials are better in the long run, biodegradable packaging brings eco-friendly options into the mainstream.

Finally, we achieved recyclable packaging that can be broken down and remanufactured. Obviously, this is still a better option than throwing packages in the bin, but it also depends on your city having the proper recycling facilities and everyone recycling their products responsibly.

Not only does it take energy to create the original product, but it also takes energy to break it down and make it into something new. That being said, the recycling industry has come a long way in recent years through innovation and appropriate funding. Where once a material would lose its integrity upon recycling, items can now be recycled again and again. This prevents further extraction of the resource and most areas have the infrastructure to recycle the goods.

While recycling doesn't have the same long-term positive impact as compostable packaging, it is widely used and can prevent waste from entering the world's oceans.

In Conclusion

The choice between compostable and recyclable packaging depends on the product, its life cycle, and available infrastructure. Government policy, combined with consumer and business initiatives, will be critical in shaping our packaging choices toward a more sustainable future. If you would like more information about compostable and biodegradable bags, please contact us.

Torise Biomaterials is a compostable and biodegradable products manufacturer. Since August 2010, we have been developing a full range of sustainable alternatives to conventional plastics. Our Torise products are made from natural resins derived from plant starches, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers that are easily consumed by microorganisms in the soil.

All our products have international authoritative certifications such as EN13432 (Din Certco), OK Compost, OK Compost HOME (TUV Austria), ASTM D6400 (BPI), AS4736 and AS5810 (ABA). From our raw materials to inks to finished products, you can rest assured that anything we make will break down in the process and won't harm the environment!
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