In creating an environmentally sustainable packaging product, you’ll encounter different kinds of eco-friendly packaging. Many packaging products boast environmentally-friendly benefits such as “biodegradable” and “recyclable” materials. But what exactly do these terms mean, and what is the difference between them? Here’s an introduction to biodegradable and recyclable materials.
What does Biodegradable and Recyclable mean?
Biodegradable refers to the ability of materials to break down and return to nature. The right temperature, humidity and heat will trigger the biodegradation process. Materials that are biodegradable include corrugated cardboard and even some plastics. Biodegradable material is ideal for biodegradable pouch and biodegradable containers in packaging industry. Once the biodegradable packaging bags are produced, these conditions start to act very slowly, but only when they reach appropriate composting conditions, does the full degradation cycle begin to take place. While throwing biodegradable pouches into common household waste means it will end up in landfill, biodegradable pouch will still compost down to nothing in a year. This is compared to plastic which can take over 500 years to do the same.
Recycling is the process of taking a product and breaking it down to use it again, only mono type products are recyclable. Not only does recycling help to reduce the pollution of harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses released by waste into the environment, it also reduces the need for raw materials, allowing for rainforests and other sources to be preserved. Aluminium and steel cans, cardboard, glass, newspapers and plastic bottles are all recyclable. Recycling plastics saves non-renewable resources, offsets the amount of waste that would end up in landfills, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Recyclable pouch is getting popular in flexible packaging. Recyclable pouch, made from mono type plastics, look and function just like regular poly laminated pouches. But they are fully recyclable while regular laminated pouches are not. Recyclable pouch is more cost effective than biodegradable pouch.
In the flexible packaging industry, biodegradable pouch is most eco-friendly packaging solution. Biodegradable pouches are still a step in the right direction. It does mean that the ingredients break down over time and when they do break down, the base components are not harmful to the environment.