Individuals and organisations alike have begun answering the call for sustainable packaging. More and more businesses are searching for the most eco-friendly options, including recyclable, recycled, and compostable packaging products.
Packaging Targets in Australia
There is an organisation called the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). APCO collaborates with both government and businesses across the country on packaging issues. The common goal is to reduce the environmental impact of packaging in Australia.
APCO set the following targets to pave the way for sustainability:
- 100% of packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025
- 70% of plastic packaging is recycled or composted by 2025
- By 2025, packaging will contain 50% of its average recycled content.
- Phase out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025
Compostable Packaging Standards
Not all compostable materials are made the same, and standards vary acround he world. The following are the requirements for materials set by the Australian Standard 4736-2006 to be considered compostable:
- Minimum of 90% biodegradation of plastic materials within 180 days in compost
- A minimum of 90% of plastic materials should disintegrate into less than 2mm pieces in compost within 12 weeks
- No toxic effect of the resulting compost on plants and earthworms
- Hazardous substances such as heavy metals should not be present above the maximum allowed levels
- Plastic materials should contain more than 50% organic materials
We recommend that customers only consider using compostable materials where composting is readily available to your end consumers, as compostable materials will not break down correctly in landfill.
Compostable Packaging with The Pouch Shop
The Pouch Shop is here to support you in your journey if compostable packaging is right for you. We offer more sustainable packaging solutions, including compostable films that are up to Australian standards.
Compostable Packaging Features
- Amongst our existing packaging solutions, this one has the most environmentally friendly look and feel.
- This packaging is made from a home compostable film that has been certified by Vincotte.
- Depending on the needs of your products, the pouches and bags can have medium to high barriers.
These containers are ideal for some confectionery, baking ingredients, and other shelf-stable goods. Please contact us if you have any questions concerning our bags or pouches.
Compostable Packaging Designs
The Pouch Shop has compostable options now available through our custom print packaging service. Listed below are the packaging formats that we offer which can be made with compostable packaging materials:
The high barrier materials used in our stand-up pouches extend the shelf life of your items as much as possible for a compostable film. These resealable packets are available without a zipper yet entirely heat sealable to maintain product freshness once packed.
Our flat pouches are great for less bulky products such as sample powder products or snack goods. They can be equipped with features such as easy tear openings and full custom printing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does 'compostable' really mean?
It is compostable if it decomposes into non-toxic natural materials at a rate comparable to that of other organic compounds. Compostable materials require microorganisms, humidity, moisture, and heat to decompose. Compostable packaging won’t necessarily break down in landfill, which is why these products should not be disposed of in these environments.
What's the difference between compostable and biodegradable packaging?
Biodegradable as a term has no set time frame for decomposing. Consumers need to be careful and ensure that packaging using this term is actually compostable, and can break down in composting conditions. The term compostable signifies a set time frame (typically weeks to a few months) that material will break down in the required conditions.
How do you dispose of compostable packaging?
Individuals must dispose of compostable materials in set composting conditions (as materials require certain levels of heat, moisture, oxygen and microorganisms to break down). They must take industrial compostable waste to a facility through accepting FOGO (Food Organic Green Organic) green bin collection programs as industrial compostable packaging will not break down correctly in home composting bins. The Pouch Shop film used for our custom compostable print packaging is home compostable.
What sustainable packaging options are available on the market now?
Understanding eco-packaging is crucial in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has strict rules about packaging. It is illegal to put labels on your product that are false or misleading to consumers.
Biodegradable is a general phrase that covers several topics. It means a material can decay without oxygen, generating CO2, water, and biomass. As a result, some biodegradable polymers cannot be recycled. There is no set time frame for biodegradable materials to decompose.
Compostable packaging can decompose or disintegrate in composting conditions and must do so in a set time frame. Compostable packaging is typically set into two categories- industrial compostable and home compostable.
Recyclable packaging includes materials that are single material types that can be reused again. The Pouch Shop provides recycle-ready pouch packaging through our custom print service, as well as some off-the-shelf options that are suitable for some soft plastics collection schemes here in Australia and New Zealand.
Looking for other packaging solutions? Save yourself time and energy by choosing The Pouch Shop! We are dedicated to helping you find the perfect solution for your brand.