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Can Biodegradable Packaging Actually Harm the Environment?

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When researching sustainable packaging, you may have come across a number of different terms that all sound great on the surface. One such option, biodegradable packaging, is not as beneficial as it first appears.

When choosing eco-friendly packaging, it is crucial to choose only certified compostable products instead of biodegradable. Products labeled biodegradable can actually be worse for the environment; upon decomposition they can release harmful chemicals, or degrade into microplastics that are harmful to the environment and easier for animals to ingest.

Choose Compostable Packaging

Certified compostable products do not add toxic chemicals to the soils in which they degrade. In fact, when sent to the proper compost facility, these products become beneficial to soils. After their degradation process, these products have transformed into humus, which is full of nutrients that nourish plants.

For more information on the differences between the terms biodegradable and compostable (and other potentially misleading terms) read our blog post:  Biodegradable vs Compostable

Ensure All Packaging Parts Are Compostable

It is crucial that every aspect of the packaging is compostable, that includes any adhesive labels on the packaging! Non-compostable labels on otherwise compostable materials will contaminate the entire composting process.

PURE Labels by Elevate Packaging are the only certified compostable labels in the world with certified compostable adhesives. These labels meet Cedar Grove requirements, making them the only label approved for composting in the city of Seattle. Every label and packaging item is 100% made of materials that meet the ASTM D6400 and/or D6868 standards of compostability.

We work with composters to ensure that our products are appropriate for their facilities. To help you choose the best compostable label for your product, here are just a few compost manufacturers across the country that have tested and accept PURE Labels:

  • New Earth
    • Located in San Antonio, Texas, New Earth uses the Turned Aerated Static Pile (ASP) process and passed these PURE Labels materials to compost materials within 90 days.
      • #805-1 White BioFilm
      • #806-1 Silver BioFilm
      • #807-1 Clear BioFilm
      • #811-1 MC White
  • Olympic Organics
    • Located in Kingston, Washington, Olympic Organics uses a Mechanical ASP process to compost materials within 47 days. The PURE Labels materials they will compost are the following:
      • #805-1 White BioFilm
      • #806-1 Silver BioFilm
      • #807-1 Clear BioFilm
      • #811-1 MC White
  • Cedar Grove
    • Located in Everett, Washington, Cedar Grove uses the Covered in-vessel process to compost materials within 50 to 60 days. The PURE labels materials they will compost are the following:
      • #804-1 White Biopoly
      • #807-1 Clear BioFilm
      • #811-1 MC White
  • WeCare | Staten Island
    • Located in Staten Island, New York, this WeCare facility uses the Windrow process to compost materials within 90 days. The PURE Labels materials they will compost are the following:
      • #804-1 White Biopoly
      • #811-1 MC White (Pending test results)
  • St. Louis Composting
    • Located in Belleville, Illinois, St. Louis Composting uses the Windrow process to compost materials within 90 days. The PURE Labels materials they will compost are the following:
      • #804-1 White Biopoly
      • #811-1 MC White (Pending Test Results) 

If you're interested in switching to compostable PURE Labels, contact us for a quote!