Biodegradable food packaging can be decomposed into water, carbon dioxide, or biomass (fuel that can be used to provide energy or heat). Biodegradable products are broken down by microorganisms that naturally occur in the environment. This process takes only a matter of months, or sometimes just weeks, for the original product to be broken down.
There are many benefits to using biodegradable products in your personal lives, and even more to using biodegradable packaging within your business. We’ve highlighted a few of these benefits below.
1. Reduces Carbon Footprint
Using biodegradable products is one way that people can help to reduce the harmful chemicals released into the soil and air.
Biodegradable products are made from recyclable materials, and, often, plant-based materials, which means they can be broken down into natural compounds. Using a biodegradable product reduces waste after the product has reached the end of its life, this then reduces the harmful chemicals which are usually released from landfills and incinerators.
Unlike the chemicals released from non-recyclable items, when biodegradable products are broken down, they release nutrients into the soil which nourishes plants and wildlife.
2. Expands Customer Base
In recent years, people have become more mindful when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint and, where possible, they’re switching to eco-friendly products, such as environmentally friendly packaging.
Thankfully, it has become easier to go greener since the eco-friendly options that are available on the market are continually growing. Additionally, more people are wanting to eat more healthily, and in a greener environment, which means many restaurants and takeaway businesses have made changes in the way they operate to ensure they’re meeting the demands of their customers.
Eco-friendly businesses, particularly those that are willing to continue to adapt to the ever-changing world, will see a rise in their customers, putting them ahead of their competitors.
Biodegradable packaging can fall under the 3 R’s of sustainability:
The materials used in a biodegradable product are picked because of their natural state. But another reason for the production of biodegradable items is to make a product stronger, more durable and, ultimately, more sustainable, although less material is generally used to create it.
Then, once the product has reached the end of its life, it can be broken down, recycled, and reused as the same thing, or as another product entirely. For example, biodegradable food packaging, such as paper bags, can be used again, or decomposed and recycled as cardboard food boxes.
4. Convenient Disposal
In the UK, there are local recycling centres where eco-friendly products can easily be disposed of. Additionally, people can dispose of biodegradable products easily within their home recycling. This type of convenience is what people strive for, and particularly, if done correctly, when they know their actions are having a positive impact on the environment.
The fish and chip box, available at Albiz, is made of a strong grade of cardboard, which can be easily disposed of at any recycling centre in the UK.
It is worth noting that not all biodegradable packaging items are compostable.
Biodegradable products are not regulated or certified, which means that an item being advertised as biodegradable could actually be made up of 50% organic material and 50% plastic.
If you’re wondering if cardboard is biodegradable, the answer is, yes. However, if it isn’t disposed of properly, then it could easily end up in landfill.
The cardboard chicken box, available at Albiz, is an example of a compostable food packaging box.
6. No Harmful Plastics
Plastic, which is made up of polymers (chains of molecules linked together), is fast becoming very traditional, since it takes chemicals to create a plastic product, as well as to dispose of it.
Now, with more biodegradable products becoming available, the production of harmful plastics is decreasing, making it kinder to our environment.
7. Improves Prestige of Business
Using eco-friendly products within your business demonstrates to your customers that you care about our environment and that you’re willing to adapt to suit their expectations.
The future is greener, and the businesses that evolve quicker, by ensuring their products and the packaging they’re sold in are helping to reduce their carbon footprint, are more likely to succeed and to rise above their competitors in an ethical manner.