What is Compostable Packaging?

Totally Natural Compostable BagWhen it comes to compostable packaging,  there are many misconceptions about its benefits and how it’s used. At Boulder Canyon, we want everyone to have a better understanding of composting so you can join us in protecting the environment.

Compostable is defined by three criteria:  biodegradable, ability to disintegrate, and toxin-free. For a material to be biodegradable, it must be able to break down into carbon dioxide, water, biomass within 90 – 180 days. Not only will these materials break down, they are able to disintegrate into the compost without any distinguishable traces left behind. In compostable materials this biodegradation does not produce toxins so that it is able to support plant life.

So what’s the difference between compostable and biodegradable then? Put simply: All compostable materials are biodegradable but not all biodegradable materials are compostable. Both processes need to be in an environment which includes moisture, heat and microorganisms. However, there is no time requirement for biodegradable – it might break down in 90 days or 5 years. Additionally, biodegradable materials may include toxins and heavy metals.

Compostable packaging, when composted correctly, is very beneficial in reducing landfill waste and producing nutrient rich soil. However, there are different types of compostable packaging. Here’s how Boulder Canyon’s stands out:

Our bags are made from cellulose which is mainly from wood pulp from managed plantations. Unlike corn and starch-based compostable bags, the wood pulp mitigates any potential negative impact on existing food supplies.

They are sourced from plantations that have Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) or similar certification.

Additionally, our bags are made from materials that are certified to meet the “Specification for Compostable Plastics” standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Best of all, they can be composted in home or industrial composters, recycled through approved organic recycling programs, or incinerated at modern incineration plants.

For more information on our new compostable bags click here.