We have a look at biodegradable and compostable packaging - their similarities, differences and benefits.
What’s the difference between biodegradable and compostable packaging for food?
Many packaging companies boast to supplying eco friendly food storage containers, such as biodegradable plastic food containers or compostable takeout containers. What is the difference, though? What exactly do these terms mean?
To fully grasp what exactly these terms are referring to, we have taken a look at biodegradable and compostable packaging; their similarities, differences and benefits.
Biodegradable plastic food containers
The term biodegradable refers to a manufacturing material’s ability to breakdown and return to nature. So, for packaging products to qualify as biodegradable, the container must be able to completely breakdown and decompose into natural elements within a year or so.
It is much more beneficial for landfills to receive biodegradable products rather than non-biodegradable as it helps reduce the build-up of waste and therefore contributes to a safer, cleaner and healthier environment. Biodegradable materials include certain plastics and corrugated cardboard – these are the materials that manufacturers generally use for biodegradable food containers.
Compostable takeout containers
Compostable materials are very similar to biodegradable materials as they both are intended to return to the earth efficiently. However, compostable materials act quicker and provide the earth with nutrients once the material has completely broken down, something that biodegradable plastic food containers do not.
Applications such as compostable takeout containers can be added to compost piles, which are designated sites designed to breakdown materials for further use. These sites generally come with specific conditions depending on environmental factors. Additional compostable applications include starch-based packing peanuts (an alternative to Styrofoam loose fill packaging) that can be dissolved in water and added to composts for safe disposal.
So, what is the difference between biodegradable and compostable packaging?
In terms of eco friendly food storage containers, compostable packaging is the far superior choice. While biodegradable plastic food containers will usually break down in three to six months, compostable takeout containers will work much quicker. They also do not produce toxins as they deteriorate and provide the earth with nutrients during the process.
What materials are considered as eco friendly food storage containers?
Biodegradable and compostable packaging is available in a wide variety of materials, including:
- Palm leaf
Ozmas are a leading distributor and supplier of a range of sustainable packaging options including biodegradable and compostable packaging. Contact the team at Ozmas on 3277 9694 or email email@example.com to learn more about our products and how we can serve you and your business.