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Compostable and Biodegradable Food Packaging (Review)

At Berica we often are asked about the differences between compostable and biodegradable food packaging. Well, the answer is very simple. In this article, you’ll discover the main differences and the reasons why it is so important.

Compostable Food Packaging

Compostables are predominantly plant-based materials, which means they can be naturally degraded into soil without leaving toxic residues. So, composting as an important landmark on the road to rising the global levels of sustainability.

Compostable food packaging is much kinder to the planet than plastic, for example, as it breaks down much quicker and more efficiently. Good for the soil, composting is literally good for the earth. In fact, the application of compost minimises soil loss by more than 85%!

Biodegradable Food Packaging

Biodegradable, is often incorrectly used, misnamed or interchanged for composting. ‘While biodegradable items refer to just any material which breaks down and decomposes in the environment. Currently in New Zealand there are no facilities that can receive and process biodegradables. These unfortunately end up in landfill.

So, why else is composting important?

Sustainable food packaging businesses have never been more commercially attractive at the consumer-facing end. We have talked before about how consumers are incredibly discerning today about where their products come from. They want to know the story around the products. Customers have an endgame in mind. ‘What happens to my takeaway box once it leaves my home for recycling?’

According to a survey by Tandberg, 50% of global consumers want eco-friendly products made from renewable and responsibly sourced resources. Consumers need to have the confidence that the food packaging they use to hold their favourite takeaways meets all possible local and global industry standards – and that they are good for the planet.

In summary, there is a plethora of terms which can be used stand-alone or interchangeable and ‘Biodegradable’ falls into this category. On the other hand, ‘Compostable’ has robust documentation behind it and well worth considering if needing to make food packaging decisions that is best for your business and aligns with your sustainability goals.

If you’re wanting meal boxes that are compostable, check out NeverLeak Takeaway Collection this is the only recyclable and compostable paperboard packaging currently available in New Zealand, designed to bring a restaurant experience to customers’ homes. It does not stop there after the “at home” experience – customers can nourish the earth by composting or recycling and that’s good news for everybody.

Looking for eco-friendly food packaging to help your sustainable story? If so, contact us today. | 0800 237 422 |

About the author

Veronica Aris

Veronica Aris

Veronica has more than 20 years in senior management roles, leading marketing and sales strategies that include primary care consumables, pharmaceuticals, natural health care supplements, consumer and safety products within B2B and B2C.

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