Biodegradable packaging

Biodegradable packaging: Are they really a sustainable option?

The search for different ways to reduce the waste generated by the use of plastic packaging has forced different companies and private organizations to bet on the research and manufacture of biodegradable packaging. 

Biodegradation occurs when a material is disintegrated by biological agents so that they can be reintegrated into nature without the intervention of any human agent, these biodegradable containers are made to be used as compost for crops and gardens; but it should be considered that many of these do generate some pieces of micro plastics that undoubtedly continue to pollute the earth. 

Just for this reason, obtaining certification as a biodegradable product is a slow and costly process, since the agency in charge must attest to the materials used to manufacture them, the dye used, the time it will take to decompose, reintegrate, if there is any material that can damage crops or soil, among other factors that are considered.

On the other hand, biodegradation necessarily involves a process of releasing gases and water vapor, which cause the greenhouse effect, and if one of the problems is climate change due to this, perhaps we should look for other options. In addition to this, we must consider the time it takes to decompose and evaluate whether the amount of packaging required will be able to decompose at the time they are discarded, as well as the cost of manufacturing them. 

What can we do?

It is definitely urgent to reduce the use of single-use containers, and it is also important to look for ways to reuse these containers to their limit and separate them correctly so that they can be recycled. Plastic is a recyclable material, what is needed is a consumer more aware of this need and a more organized industry dedicated to recycling so that the percentage that is currently recycled rises. 

Therefore, we believe that companies should focus on the reduction of materials, energy, the use of resins that can be recycled and the integration of a campaign to promote recycling.

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