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Biodegradable, Compostable and Recyclable Food Packaging: What’s The Difference?

 

Consumer demand for takeaway food and drink from our local restaurants and cafés has boomed over recent years, due to an exponential acceleration in technology and being able to order food with a few simple taps on our smartphones. It’s a great business model to adopt if you’re in the food industry, but do you think about what happens to the packaging once it’s left your restaurant, café or takeaway?

Across the country, we’re seeing a shift towards businesses becoming as eco-friendly as they possibly can be. Joining the shift are restaurants, cafés and takeaways who have chosen to provide their tasty food in eco-friendly packaging. However, with so many options, we understand that it can all get a bit confusing. That’s why, today, we’re taking you through the differences to help you choose the perfect packaging option for your business.

 

So what is the difference?

When it comes to eco packaging and other environmentally friendly products, there are innumerable ‘buzz’ words thrown around. We’re pretty confident that most people understand the term recyclable, as it’s a term often referred to - but when you start mixing other phrases in, it can be hard to differentiate - especially when biodegradable and compostable are used interchangeably by many people. We’ll break it down into the simplest terms to begin with, before we go into more detail:

 

  1. Biodegradable: Biodegradable packaging options will, in time, eventually break down - but there are no hard and fast rules for how long it will take for them to fully degrade. For example, wood is biodegradable, but a timber structure will stand for decades before it needs replacing.

     

  2. Compostable: Compostable packaging will often break down within 12 weeks into carbon dioxide, water and inorganic compounds - this rate is as quick as you might see happen in a back garden compost bin.

     

  3. Recyclable: Recyclable packaging items can be broken down and made into something new, which avoids adding rubbish to overflowing landfills while also reducing the amount of pollution produced in the process compared with less sustainable methods.

     

Biodegradable packaging

The time it takes for a material to degrade depends on the environment it’s in - factors include how much oxygen is available, the humidity rates and the temperature, so they often aren’t able to function properly when left in a landfill. Biodegradable packaging options such as high quality and environmentally friendly biodegradable coffee cups are best suited to the restaurants and cafés where customers take food away but are still in the vicinity to dispose of the packaging - so you can ensure it’s disposed of in the right way. An example of an environment deemed ‘perfect’ could be at outdoor events, such as festivals.

Compostable packaging

Compostable materials are the best of the best because, if they’re disposed of in the correct ways, they not only disappear but can also improve water and nutrient retention, and help to grow healthier plants - due to not leaving a toxic residue behind.

Disposing of these packaging options is as easy as can be for your customers, as they’re able to pop them in a compost bin, where nature will kick in and help in the degrading process - meaning your customers don’t have to go to much effort to get rid of them in the right ways. However, some materials may need to go in a commercial compost, so it’s worth checking this with your supplier.

View our range of compostable cups here

Recyclable packaging

As mentioned above, recycling is the process of converting waste into new materials or objects. While energy has to be used to recycle the waste, it has a far less severe impact on the environment than creating new ones would.

If a product says it’s recyclable, it shouldn’t be thrown straight into the recycling bin without first checking that the local council can recycle it. As a business owner, you should check your council’s recycling rules so you can use a packaging option that your local consumers can recycle with ease - as some may need to be taken to a special recycling point. With so many packaging products offering a recyclable alternative, from food bowls to crepe cones you can rest assured your businesses individual needs are covered in the fight towards a more sustainable future. 

We hope that our introduction to eco packaging has helped you to understand the differences between the different types of packaging options available to you. To find out more about the specifics about our biodegradable, compostable and recyclable products, get in touch with us on 01670 546 666 or visit our Eco-Friendly Packaging page.

 


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Biodegradable, Compostable and Recyclable Food Packaging: What’s The Difference?

 

Consumer demand for takeaway food and drink from our local restaurants and cafés has boomed over recent years, due to an exponential acceleration in technology and being able to order food with a few simple taps on our smartphones. It’s a great business model to adopt if you’re in the food industry, but do you think about what happens to the packaging once it’s left your restaurant, café or takeaway?

Across the country, we’re seeing a shift towards businesses becoming as eco-friendly as they possibly can be. Joining the shift are restaurants, cafés and takeaways who have chosen to provide their tasty food in eco-friendly packaging. However, with so many options, we understand that it can all get a bit confusing. That’s why, today, we’re taking you through the differences to help you choose the perfect packaging option for your business.

 

So what is the difference?

When it comes to eco packaging and other environmentally friendly products, there are innumerable ‘buzz’ words thrown around. We’re pretty confident that most people understand the term recyclable, as it’s a term often referred to - but when you start mixing other phrases in, it can be hard to differentiate - especially when biodegradable and compostable are used interchangeably by many people. We’ll break it down into the simplest terms to begin with, before we go into more detail:

 

  1. Biodegradable: Biodegradable packaging options will, in time, eventually break down - but there are no hard and fast rules for how long it will take for them to fully degrade. For example, wood is biodegradable, but a timber structure will stand for decades before it needs replacing.

     

  2. Compostable: Compostable packaging will often break down within 12 weeks into carbon dioxide, water and inorganic compounds - this rate is as quick as you might see happen in a back garden compost bin.

     

  3. Recyclable: Recyclable packaging items can be broken down and made into something new, which avoids adding rubbish to overflowing landfills while also reducing the amount of pollution produced in the process compared with less sustainable methods.

     

Biodegradable packaging

The time it takes for a material to degrade depends on the environment it’s in - factors include how much oxygen is available, the humidity rates and the temperature, so they often aren’t able to function properly when left in a landfill. Biodegradable packaging options such as high quality and environmentally friendly biodegradable coffee cups are best suited to the restaurants and cafés where customers take food away but are still in the vicinity to dispose of the packaging - so you can ensure it’s disposed of in the right way. An example of an environment deemed ‘perfect’ could be at outdoor events, such as festivals.

Compostable packaging

Compostable materials are the best of the best because, if they’re disposed of in the correct ways, they not only disappear but can also improve water and nutrient retention, and help to grow healthier plants - due to not leaving a toxic residue behind.

Disposing of these packaging options is as easy as can be for your customers, as they’re able to pop them in a compost bin, where nature will kick in and help in the degrading process - meaning your customers don’t have to go to much effort to get rid of them in the right ways. However, some materials may need to go in a commercial compost, so it’s worth checking this with your supplier.

View our range of compostable cups here

Recyclable packaging

As mentioned above, recycling is the process of converting waste into new materials or objects. While energy has to be used to recycle the waste, it has a far less severe impact on the environment than creating new ones would.

If a product says it’s recyclable, it shouldn’t be thrown straight into the recycling bin without first checking that the local council can recycle it. As a business owner, you should check your council’s recycling rules so you can use a packaging option that your local consumers can recycle with ease - as some may need to be taken to a special recycling point. With so many packaging products offering a recyclable alternative, from food bowls to crepe cones you can rest assured your businesses individual needs are covered in the fight towards a more sustainable future. 

We hope that our introduction to eco packaging has helped you to understand the differences between the different types of packaging options available to you. To find out more about the specifics about our biodegradable, compostable and recyclable products, get in touch with us on 01670 546 666 or visit our Eco-Friendly Packaging page.

 


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