Biodegradable materials will decompose safely down into natural elements (with the correct amount of light, moisture and heat), and disappear into the environment. The time frame this takes is dependent on the conditions and material.
Benefits & Considerations
In the right amount of heat, moisture and light, biodegradable products will break down / biodegrade back in to the soil
Carbon emissions and energy reduction – fossil fuels used to make traditional plastics omit toxins and emissions in the extraction and processing of the plastic material
May not break down in landfill due to the lack of heat and light and creates methane
In the absence of the appropriate conditions biodegradable products can take a long time to decompose
Uncertified biodegradable packaging products will not be accepted at commercial composting sites as the time frame for biodegradation is undetermined
Although bio plastics can be recycled there are limited facilities worldwide to do so
Commercial or industrial composting is a large scale composting which is designed to handle a very high volume of organic waste. For packaging products to be accepted by these facilities they must have the correct certification.
Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction. Many packaging products can be recycled if disposed of in the correct way. Currently 33% of waste gets recycled.
Landfill is a site of the disposal of waste material by burial. 55% of waste items are landing up here.
A waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste material. Currently 12.5% of waste goes to incinerators.