Composting is the process of breaking down organic waste by microbial digestion to create compost. Compost has many beneficial uses including improving and fertilizing soil. To go through a composting process, organic waste requires the right level of heat, water, and oxygen. In a pile of organic waste, there are millions of tiny microbes that consume the waste, transforming the organic materials into compost. In order to claim that a product is fully compostable, the product has to meet all the requirements in the European Norm EN 13432 and/or the US Standard ASTM D6400. Both specifications require that biodegradable/compostable products completely decompose in a composting setting in a specific time frame, leaving no harmful residues behind. Growpac’s products meet both EN 13432 and ASTM D6400 standards as well as Australasian and home compost standards.
Put simply: All compostable materials are biodegradable but not all biodegradable materials are compostable. Both processes need to be in an environment which includes moisture, heat and microorganisms. However, there is no time requirement for biodegradable – it might break down between 90 days to 5 years. Additionally, biodegradable materials may include toxins and heavy metals.
Traditional packaging – especially the ubiquitous plastic bag – is a significant source of landfill waste and is regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences. Synthetic plastic does not biodegrade. It just sits and accumulates in landfills or pollutes the environment. Some estimates point towards around 100 million marine mammals a year being killed by plastic. This is all because we are carelessly consuming from and producing plastic packaging that is finding it’s way into the ocean.
There are third-party certifications and logos to distinguish products that are compostable according to established industry standards. Our products meet standards ASTM 6400 (North America) EN 13432 (Europe) AS5810-2004 (Australiasia). A range of our products also have the OK HOME COMPOST rating from VINCOTTE a Belgian accredited inspection and certification organisation. The OK HOME COMPOST stamp means products will compost in a home compost environment in 12months or under.
The increasing cost of crude oil continues to reinforce the growing need for renewable-resource-based alternatives.
In the long term, BioPlastic has the potential to be cheaper to manufacture compared to oil-based plastics. But currently, whilst it currently costs more to manufacture Growpacs products, we try our best to not only match, but sometimes even beat the market price of traditional oil-based food packaging in New Zealand.
Affiliated partners compost waste is taken to either a onsite industrial composter or to one of our accredited compost facilities. This allows us to ensure our products are making there way back into compost and not into landfill where degradation processes are not controlled and time to compost can be compromised.
If the product in question has the OK HOME COMPOST by VINCOTTE then it is rated to compost in a home compost environment in under 12 months.