There are many components to biodegradable packages that the average consumer is unaware of. To say biodegradable packaging leaves zero waste behind would be completely false.
Biodegradable packages can only decompose under special circumstances, so having it sit in a landfill can increase the amount of greenhouse gasses. This means that simply going for a biodegradable packages don't necessarily create a smaller carbon footprint if you don't decompose it properly.
Biodegradable and recyclable packages are two different products. Most consumers are unaware of the differences and simply recycle both together. However, this poses a much bigger threat than assumed. When recycling contamination is caused by mixing in biodegradable components, the recycling system is tainted and unusable...or should we say un-reusable.
According to a study conducted by Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of The 5 Gyres Institute, majority of the waste collected in the Southern Pacific Subtropical Gyre (SPSG) was plastic (about 96% of it).
Yes, biodegradable packages are made from organic plants, however, there are downsides to this alternative. Plants used to make biodegradable packages are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals that can potentially transfer over within the final stages of production.
How Informed Are You About Biodegradable Materials?
Learning more about biodegradable packaging and the different ways you can decrease your carbon footprint can be easy! A little research can open up so many doors and will lead you to a greener future and a healthier planet!
However, don't let that stop you! Innovations in biodegradability are constantly changing and it's up to us to stay informed! The more we pay attention to the finer details of eco-friendly practices, the better chance we have for a greener planet!