While the development of plastic products has led to some amazing, and often life-saving, innovations (think incubators, crash helmets and mechanisms for purifying drinking water), the cheap creation and versatile uses of plastic (particularly single-use plastics) has meant we’re creating more plastic waste than we are capable of dealing with.
The Benefits of
Some Key Facts
- Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years.
- Production increased exponentially, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Production is expected to double by 2050.
- Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.
- Plastics often contain additives making them stronger, more flexible, and durable. But many of these additives can extend the life of products if they become litter, with some estimates ranging to at least 400 years to break down.
Biodegradable vs Compostable
We’ve been taught to believe that biodegradable packaging is a good thing. In theory it is. After all, we want our waste materials to be able to degrade into completely natural substances. However, without any kind of certification or regulation, there’s no required timeframe in which the item biodegradable item degrades. The process can take years (and years and years!). What’s more, biodegradable materials can leave behind toxins in the process, which is ultimately bad for the environment.
Materials that are certified as compostable must meet stringent requirements of how long they will take to degrade, what conditions are required to have the material degrade, the minimum organic material in their makeup, and that they leave behind no toxic effect on plants and earthworms (and therefore on people!).
In short, compostable materials take biodegradable to a better standard.
What We're Doing at Zoomlite
In order to provide our customers with the best solution, we’ve partnered up with a great little Aussie company called Down To Earth Packaging. Their packaging meets both the AS4736 Industrial standard and the AS5810 Home Compost standard, meaning you can throw it in your garden waste if your council provides industrial composting, or compost it at home.
In addition to helping our planet through sustainable packaging and stocking a range of sustainable packing cubes made from recycled plastic bottles, we've partnered with 1% for the Planet on their mission to build support for essential work in six core issue areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife.
We’ve committed to donating 1% of our annual revenue to environmental non-profits, facilitated through 1% for the Planet.
How to Dispose of Your Compostable Plastic Mailer
Image Credit: gardeningknowhow.com
If you’ve got a compost bin at home, simply remove the label and adhesive strip, then add to your compost bin. Follow your normal process of turning and watering your compost.
If your local council does composting they’ll either have given you a specific compost bin or bin liners, or they have notified you that you can add composting to your green waste bin (garden waste). Simply remove the label and adhesive strip from your compostable mailer, then put in the in garden waste bin.