Why is compostable packaging better than plastic packaging?
Well there are many reasons, but the main one is it is made from natural materials that decompose back into organic matter leaving behind no toxins.
Why didn't we use compostable packaging before now?
We wish we could have. We tried when we started the company but the technology wasn't here for us to use. Four years later, technological advances have come a long way and there are now compostable plant based options that we can use for our packaging needs so we have changed it as soon as we were allowed possible .
What is the new wrapper made out of?
It is made from sustainably sourced wood pulp. Technology is amazing, and from trees scientiests have been able to then make a film that looks and acts like plastic but made from 100% plants.
Will there be a difference from our current packaging?
Yes, we have a new, colourful, fruity design. It's been designed to be even more eye catching and inform customers straight away about how wonderful our lollies are and why. It will look and feel more or less the same as our current plastic wrapper but the substrate will be a little more flexible and the colours may look a little less saturated and less vibrant than our old packaging as the ink sits differently on compostable packaging.
Why aren't more companies changing to plastic free packaging?
Hopefully they should soon but plastics are very cheap and you have to be willing to invest the money to do the right thing.
How do you dispose of our compostable wrapper?
Simple, it can just be put in any food waste bin. Our wrappers can be put in a home or industrial compost bin. It takes about 12 weeks for it to decompose back to soil and nutrients.
What happens if the lolly wrapper ends up in a normal bin?
It won’t decompose and break down as easily as it would be in proper compostable conditions. The good news it will still break down but will take a long time instead. This also happens with plastics. However, plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces and contaminate the earth whereas our wrappers will just break down into organic matter quicker than plastic will and leave no contaminates behind. Our government our working on our infrastructure to make sure and educate people on how to deal with their waste properly.
Why is plastic bad?
Plastics cannot biodegrade. They break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Plastic material is made to last for forever, yet 40% of all plastic is thrown away after just once use. Plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then transfer into water sources and different ecosystems. This can cause serious harm to our wildlife but also us humans as well. If you haven’t make sure you watch the last episode of Blue Planet to get more information. Also they are made from unsustainable sources like coal, crude oil and natural gas. Obviously not all plastics are bad. For example plastics used in hospitals to save lives are great, but single use plastics that we have a better solution for should not be used any more.
Can’t we just recycle plastic?
Unfortunately, no it’s not as simple as that. A lot of plastics cannot be recycled. They are single use and just end up in landfill or as litter on our weather and oceans. Some plastic that is recyclable becomes un-recyclable because of the ink printed on it. From now on always check the back of your packs and you will see how much of your packaging is not recyclable. Unfortunately, even the plastics that are recyclable are not recycled. At the moment our society and refuse system is not accountable of where the plastics end up once they are shipped from the UK and what happens to it once it is taken away. Recycling plastic is also hard and what it can be recycled into is a very small number of things. According to the EU Commission, only 6% of the plastic thrown away in the EU is recycled. Since the 1950’s only 9% of the 6.3 billion tonnes of conventional plastic made has been recycled. Even if every household recycled and state-of-the-art recycling systems existed (neither is true) recycling simply cannot keep up with the sheer volume that is produced, bought, and thrown away every day. So we need to look for alternative materials to use.
Is biodegradable different to compostable?
Yes. All compostable items are biodegradable but not all biodegradable materials are compostable. Compostable goods are organic matter that breaks down and biodegradable refers to any material that breaks down. Compostable materials are a better choice than biodegradable:
- Compostable takes 90-180 days to decompose, biodegradable can take a year.
- Compostable packaging is toxin free and turns into a toxin free nutrient rich soil with no trace of the packaging being left behind.
- Some biodegradable packaging leaves harsh toxins and chemicals behind when it breaks down.
Some interesting packaging facts for you…
- Did you know the life of a styrofoam item is estimated to be 500 years to forever!
- There are 7.5+ billion people on the earth. How many items of plastic do you consume a week? Now times that by 7.5 billion! And that just per week!!
- Each year 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced and 40% of that is single use.
- Currently, it’s estimated there are 100 million tonnes of plastics in the oceans around the world, and 8 million tonnes enters the ocean each year.
- Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris.
- Experts think that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
- Many of us think that our throw-away plastic water bottles are melted down to make new plastic bottles. Not true. Euromonitor estimates that 20,000 bottles are purchased every second; only 7% are recycled into new bottles.
- Recyclable = recycled. NOT TRUE.
What can you do make a difference in the fight on plastics?
- Reduce your use of single-use plastics
- Stop using plastic water bottles - always carry your own water bottle with you.
- Always carry a ‘keep cup’ with you - don’t have a take away coffee without one.
- Say no to plastic straws and cutlery.
- Buy in bulk if you have to use plastic and decant at home.
- Buy boxes or other materials instead of plastic.
- Always use you own reusable bags.
- Recycle properly.
- Stop using products contain non-natural micro beads.
- Support organisation addressing plastic pollution.
- Spread the word.
What are Bioplastics?
Bioplastics are generally understood to be either:
Biodegradable or non-biodegradable products made from renewable raw materials or biodegradable products made from either renewable or fossil raw materials.
What is the difference between biodegradable, compostable and degradable?
A biodegradable plastic will break down under the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria, fungi or algae), but has no specific time frame and no requirement for not leaving a ‘toxic residue’.
A compostable plastic is plastic that ‘undergoes degradation by biological processes during composting to yield carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass, at a rate consistent with other known compostable materials (e.g. cellulose), and leaves no visible, distinguishable or toxic residue’ (ASTM D6400).
Degradable plastics will undergo significant changes in their chemical structure, due to the presence of an additive, under specific environmental conditions (e.g. UV, oxygen, heat or humidity) resulting in a loss of some properties. These materials do not comply with EN13432 or ASTM D6400.
What is The Plastic Planet and what does it mean when there is a "Plastic Free" logo on packaging?
PLASTIC FREE™ is a consumer-focused phrase developed by A Plastic Planet. Brand Owners can apply for a PLASTIC FREE trustmark if their product is packaged in a compostable film that complies with EN13432 and/or TÜV OK Home Compost (resource materials including wood pulp, plant cellulose, food waste, grass, algae, rice husks and mushrooms). Metal, paper, carton board and glass are also all deemed PLASTIC FREE.