We are thrilled that you are here. Generally, we have of course more articles on compostable coffee pods, coffee and coffee pods. Other meaningful posts on compostable coffee pods are e.g. from leading media publishers, or Moving Beans. Alternatively go through our good article on Nespresso pods.
We are typically being asked what bioplastics are, or what is the significance of a product being naturally degradable or compostable? Exists any relationship between bioplastics and biodegradability? How should we customers deal with these items?
In this blog, we attempt to break down these principles through simple explanations that will hopefully assist you much better understand their significance and be more familiar with the choices you are taking as a consumer. Let’s go step by step:
These are materials that are either originated from biomass (e.g. plants, such as corn or sugarcane) or are naturally degradable; or indeed function both properties. They vary from traditional plastics because the latter are made from fossil oil (fuel). The advantages of using sustainable materials to produce bioplastics are: increase in resource efficiency (e.g. use of biomass for different purposes), decrease of the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions (those that significantly add to environment modification); and saving fossil resources by slowly replacing them.
Biodegradation is a process – a chemical procedure – during which microbes that are readily available in the environment convert materials into natural compounds such as water, carbon dioxide, and garden compost (artificial additives are not needed). The process of biodegradation depends on the surrounding ecological conditions (e.g. area or temperature level), on the materials involved and on the procedure itself. This process can take short time periods (weeks and months) or long periods of time (10s and even centuries).
In other words, plastic products made from biomass (a type of bioplastic) are not necessarily biodegradable. On the other hand, some petrol-based plastics might be biodegradable.
The household of bioplastics can be divided into three primary groups:
– bio-based (or partially bio-based) but non-biodegradable plastics (e.g. PE, PP, PET, PTT or TPC-ET);.
– plastics that are both eco-friendly and bio-based (e.g. PLA, PHA or PBS);.
– petrol-based plastics that are biodegradable (e.g. PBAT).
Composting is also a procedure– a chemical procedure. In fact, it is the process of biodegradation under aerobic conditions (existence of totally free oxygen) within a timespan of 6-12 weeks. You require particular conditions of humidity, aeration and temperature level, for microorganisms, like germs or fungi and their enzymes, to be able to “absorb” the chain structure of eco-friendly plastics. The resulting end products are water, carbon dioxide and some biomass. The number and type of microbes is also a crucial element in this process. There are two ways to perform this procedure: industrially or home-compost.
Industrially compostable conditions are very particular and they have been specified under the European norm EN 13432 for packaging items and embraced by the British Standard Institution under BS EN 13432 requirement. Just those product packaging products that fulfill the strict criteria of the EN 13432 standard are given with the accreditation of OK-Compost Industrial and can be unambiguously thought about industrially compostable. In practice, this implies that you can dispose this material in your natural waste bin for it to be sent out to the closest industrial composting facility.
Home-compostable product packaging rather is not covered under one single widely-known requirement however rather within numerous country-based ones. Since the conditions in a home-compost are not that controllable as in the case of a commercial compost, this is. Under home-composting condition temperature levels and humidity can vary considerably from location to place, and year on year, not constantly achieving the best decay in an affordable timeframe.
Nowadays, however, society and professionals in the field see the need for moving into this instructions if we wish to become more sustainable. That is why we may see really intriguing developments and innovations in this home-composability space in the following years.
They, Moving Beans, are a company that has been providing compostable Nespresso capsules for several years, with more info at this link. Do browse a related article on compostable coffee pods. They were the first to deliver plastic-free coffee capsules.