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What is the Difference between Biodegradable, Compostable, and Recyclable Packaging in Australia?

What is the Difference between Biodegradable, Compostable, and Recyclable Packaging in Australia?

In our modern world, there's a growing need for sustainable packaging solutions. The amount of waste and plastic pollution has become a pressing concern, and it's essential that both businesses and consumers make informed decisions about the packaging they use and dispose of. Three terms often come up when discussing eco-friendly packaging options: biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable. But what do these terms mean, and how do they differ from each other? In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the differences between biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable packaging in the context of Australia, so you can make a more informed decision.



Biodegradable Packaging: A Cautionary Tale


Biodegradable packaging is made from materials that break down over time, usually due to the actions of microorganisms. On the surface, it seems like an ideal solution for reducing waste, but the term "biodegradable" can be misleading. Just because a product is biodegradable doesn't mean it's environmentally friendly or safe. For example, a plastic bag labelled as "biodegradable" might break down into smaller pieces of plastic, which can still pose a threat to wildlife and ecosystems.


Compostable Packaging: A Better Solution


Compostable packaging, on the other hand, is made from materials that can be broken down into organic matter through composting. This organic matter can then be used as fertilizer for plants. The main difference between biodegradable and compostable packaging is that compostable packaging must meet specific standards, such as those set by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and the European Bioplastics Association (EBA), to be considered truly compostable. In other words, compostable packaging must break down within a certain time frame and not leave behind any harmful residue. In Australia, compostable packaging must meet the Australian Standard for Compostability: (Industrial compostable AS 4736-2006) and (Home compostable AS 5810-2010)


Recyclable Packaging: Closing the Loop


Recyclable packaging is made from materials that can be collected, processed, and turned into new products. Common recyclable materials include paper, glass, aluminum, and some types of plastic. However, not all recyclable materials are created equal when it comes to recycling. Some types of plastic are more difficult to recycle than others, and some are not recyclable at all. To make sure a product is truly recyclable, look for a recycling symbol on the packaging, and check with your local waste management and recycling centre to see if they accept the material.


COPAR's Wheat Straw Packaging: A Sustainable Solution


At COPAR, we believe in making a positive impact on the environment. That's why we're proud to offer our customers an eco-friendly packaging option: our Wheat Straw Packaging. Made from the leftover stalks of wheat after the grain has been harvested, our Wheat Straw Packaging is not only compostable, but also biodegradable and recyclable. And best of all, it  will meet the Australian Standard for Compostability (AS 4736-2006 and AS 5810-2010). So if you're looking for a more sustainable packaging option, look no further than COPAR's Wheat Straw Packaging.


The Bottom Line


In the end, being aware of the distinction between biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable packaging in Australia is crucial to making informed choices about the packaging we use. Although biodegradable packaging might seem like the ideal solution, it's necessary to look for products that truly meet Australian compostable standards to minimize environmental harm. As for recyclable packaging, it's equally important to ensure that the materials are collected and recycled properly. At COPAR, we strive to offer sustainable packaging options, including our organic wheat straw packaging, to aid you in contributing to a greener tomorrow.


Whether you're a business looking to reduce your carbon footprint, or a consumer looking to make more eco-friendly choices, our wheat straw packaging is a smart and sustainable choice. Get in touch with us today to learn more and order your supply of compostable wheat straw packaging.