Biodegradable / compostable products
These product may sound like a good solution but are actually not always a good alternative.
- Bio/Degradable bags are made of small pieces of plastic fused with corn starch. It will simply break down into smaller pieces of plastic; easier to be ingested by animals and further down the food chain by ourselves.
- Biodegradable plastics are not regulated
- Majority of compostable bags do NOT compost in your compost heap at home. They need to be composted in an industrial facility (over 70 degrees Celsius)
- Experience tells us that most compostable and biodegradable and compostable plastics end up:
- in landfill’s anaerobic environment creating methane gasses or not breaking down
- among recyclable plastics and therefore compromising the recyclability of the plastics. If it looks/feels like a plastic bag it will be used and recycled like one.
- in waterways / nature
NZ does not have the infrastructure to deal with bio or compostable plastics
See https://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/solutions/soft-plastics for more info
See attached material reference guide
- Go for alternative packaging that doesn’t try to look like existing plastic or paper.
- Have a second use for packaging after it has served its first purpose
- All the above is generalised and there are much more details to consider – Talk to us!
Other useful links