We are pleased that you landed on our site. We have clearly more blogs on compostable Nespresso pods, coffee and coffee pods. Other educational posts on sustainable coffee capsules are for instance from leading media publishers, or Moving Beans. Or read our good article on Nespresso pods.
We are often being asked what bioplastics are, or what is the significance of an item being compostable or naturally degradable? Exists any relationship in between bioplastics and biodegradability? How should we consumers deal with these items?
In this blog site, we attempt to break down these concepts through simple descriptions that will hopefully assist you better understand their meaning and be more knowledgeable about the choices you are taking as a customer. Let’s go step by step:
These are materials that are either derived from biomass (e.g. plants, such as corn or sugarcane) or are eco-friendly; or indeed feature both homes. They vary from traditional plastics because the latter are made from fossil oil (fuel). The benefits of using sustainable materials to produce bioplastics are: boost in resource effectiveness (e.g. use of biomass for various functions), decrease of the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions (those that considerably add to environment change); and conserving fossil resources by gradually substituting them.
Biodegradation is a procedure – a chemical process – throughout which bacteria that are available in the environment convert products into natural substances such as water, co2, and garden compost (artificial additives are not required). The procedure of biodegradation depends on the surrounding ecological conditions (e.g. place or temperature level), on the materials included and on the procedure itself. This process can take short amount of times (weeks and months) or extended periods of time (10s or even hundreds of years).
The residential or commercial property of biodegradation does not depend upon the source material of the item but is rather connected to its chemical structure. It is for that reason essential to understand that ‘Bio-based’ does not indicate ‘naturally degradable’. In other words, plastic products made from biomass (a type of bioplastic) are not always naturally degradable. On the other hand, some petrol-based plastics may be eco-friendly.
The family of bioplastics can be divided into 3 primary groups:
- bio-based (or partly bio-based) however 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 naturally degradable (e.g. PBAT).
Composting is also a procedure– a chemical process. In fact, it is the process of biodegradation under aerobic conditions (presence of complimentary oxygen) within a timespan of 6-12 weeks. You require certain conditions of humidity, temperature and aeration, for microorganisms, like fungi or germs and their enzymes, to be able to “absorb” the chain structure of eco-friendly plastics. The resulting final result are water, carbon dioxide and some biomass. The number and type of microbes is likewise an essential component in this process. There are 2 ways to perform this procedure: industrially or home-compost.
Industrially compostable conditions are really specific and they have been defined under the European norm EN 13432 for packaging items and adopted by the British Standard Institution under BS EN 13432 requirement. Just those packaging items that meet the strict criteria of the EN 13432 requirement are granted with the certification of OK-Compost Industrial and can be unambiguously considered industrially compostable. In practice, this suggests that you can dispose this product in your natural waste bin for it to be sent out to the closest commercial composting facility.
Home-compostable packaging instead is not covered under one single widely-known requirement but rather within numerous country-based ones. This is due to the fact that the conditions in a home-compost are not that controllable as when it comes to a commercial compost. Under home-composting condition temperature levels and humidity can differ significantly from location to location, and year on year, not always accomplishing the right decay in a reasonable timeframe.
Nowadays, however, society and specialists in the field see the need for moving into this instructions if we want to end up being more sustainable. That is why we may see extremely intriguing advancements and developments in this home-composability area in the following years.
Moving Beans is an SME that has provided compostable coffee pods for a very long time, with more insights under Moving Beans. Do browse an interesting article on compostable coffee pods. They were the first to provide aluminium-free coffee pods.