Compostable Food Packaging FAQs | Cafebrands

Compostable Packaging FAQs

What is compostable packaging?

Compostable packaging is packaging made from renewable resources such as starch (from corn or potatoes), cellulose, sugar cane, bamboo or palm fibres that can be broken down by microorganisms, in a relatively short period of time into CO2 + H2O + Biomass.

Why is compostable packaging a better alternative to traditional plastic packaging?

Plastic packaging is harmful to the environment, takes ages if not forever to break down and decompose and even ‘environmentally friendly’ PE takes 50 years to fully disintegrate.

Compostable packaging breaks down into rich soil nutrients in a certain amount of time and the materials they are made are from renewable resources mainly obtained from agricultural production.

What’s the difference between biodegradable and compostable?

Biodegradation is a process in which organic substances are broken down by the enzymes produced by living organisms, break down, safely and relatively quickly and disappear harmlessly into the environment.

Compostable materials are a more specific form of “biodegradable” material.

Compostable materials, under intensified conditions promoted by the composting process (i.e., increased heat), must break down within a certain period of time (usually within three months).

So, to a biodegradable product be considered compostable it has to break down within three months in a composting plant under certain specific conditions.

How long does compostable packaging take to fully disintegrate?

Certified compostable packaging totally vanishes within 6 to 10 weeks in a standard composting plant.

What is the end result after compostable packaging fully breaks down?

To put it simply, natural compost! Biodegradation tests, among other rigorous analysis, are made to certify that the final compost does not have toxins or heavy metals in its composition. Therefore, it is perfectly safe for use to cultivate the soil.

Do compostable products break down in traditional landfills?

Composting is a very specific process that only occurs in industrial composting facilities. Carbon, oxygen, water, nitrogen, and microorganisms all need to be present, and it is only in the right conditions that the process takes place.

If a compostable product is placed in an landfill where oxygen isn’t present, it will decompose just like any other biodegradable material in the same conditions.

What if a compostable product ends up in a landfill and not in a compostable plant? Are there still any benefits?

A compostable product is plant-based, meaning that is produced from a renewable resource. Even if it ends up in a landfill, it takes less energy to be produced and is responsible for less dioxide carbon in the atmosphere. If not for anything else, these are significant benefits from choosing compostable products.

Why does the use of compostable materials can solve the problem of food contamination when recycling food packaging?

For one, it just makes sense to use compostable materials in packaging disposables destined to serve food, as they can be disposed of and composted together. Food is not a contamination when it comes to composting, in fact it’s a vital element in the entire process.

Do disposable compostable plant-based packaging work as well as disposable plastic packaging?

Yes, both in aesthetics and functionality, plant-based disposables are nothing short of their plastic counterparts.

How can I tell the difference between standard packaging and compostable packaging?

Compostable and biodegradable packaging usually carries a specific label identifying it as such and telling you how to dispose of it after use.

All of our compostable packaging is 100% natural and 100% compostable, being fully certified to European Composting Standard EN13432 for compostable materials.