GENERAL ECO-FRIENDLY TERMS
Eco-friendly is a term used to describe a product, practice or process that has a small, less damaging or positive effect on the environment and its ecosystems. It also can mean that you have an understanding of the effect your actions have on the planet, and change your actions to have a more positive environmental impact.
Biodegradation is the naturally occurring breakdown of materials, either by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, or through other biological activity.
Composting is a process in which materials will biodegrade under specific conditions – such as at a certain temperature or within a set timeframe – when exposed to the correct balance of microbes, moisture, oxygen and warmth. To be called compostable, these products must biodegrade into nutrient-rich compost that can be used to grow more plants. Can also be composted in domestic compost, but the period of biodegradation will be longer. These specific conditions of compostability are laid out in various codes and rules, officially known as ‘standards’. Products that comply with these standards are certified and labeled to guarantee they are compostable. The most common standards used for packaging products are the European EN 13432 the American ASTM D6400, and ISO/IS 17088 standards.
Commercial Composting Facility
A commercial composting facility (also known as an industrial composting facility) is a large-scale site where huge volumes of organic waste are processed. In order to fully compost and meet these standards, the products must be sent to commercial composting facilities together with food waste
Commercial composting facilities generate the perfect balance of moisture, microbes, warmth and oxygen to break down this organic waste into nutrient-rich compost.
Compost is a mixture made up of decomposed organic matter such as food waste, animal manure and garden waste. Compost is rich in nutrients, making it extremely useful for fertilising soil. Products placed in home compost bins may still compost, but there is no guarantee they will completely biodegrade or break down within a set timeframe.
Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by a person, product, business or industry – generally measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)..
The Difference between Biodegradable and Compostable
The difference between biodegradation and composting is that biodegradation is a naturally occurring process. Composting always requires human action
The main difference between biodegradable and compostable products is that certified-compostable items have a guarantee that they will biodegrade under the specific conditions – such as within set timeframes or at certain temperatures. Biodegradable plastic products have no such guarantee.
What can go in home compost bins?
- Compostable packaging and disposable products
- All fruit and vegetable waste (cooked or uncooked)
- Old bread and anything else made from edible flour
- Pulses, Grains and pasta,noodles (cooked or uncooked)
- Coffee grounds, tea bags, coffee filters
- Out of expiry date boxed foods (without packaging material)
- Crushed egg shells, vegetable peels
- Undyed paper and card