Compostable Flexible Packaging
Its advantages include its low-volume and lightweight structure, as well as the ability to be made from several layers of material to enhance properties like shelf-life, durability, printability, barrier, sealability, and strength. Its flexibility is a key performance factor for many industries.
Flexible packaging is regularly used to wrap products during storage, transport, and to protect products, including food items, during shelf-life.
Most waste-treatment centers do not accept flexible plastic packaging for recycling because its material structure is too complex, contaminated by food, and/or lightweight to be successfully recycled. Of the very few types of flexible packaging that are recyclable, very little (about 4%) are actually recycled.
TIPA®’s compostable flexible packaging has the same properties as conventional plastic flexible packaging, including durability, transparency, sealability, and barrier, but is fully compostable, and biodegrades in compost like organic waste.
TIPA® Compostable films and laminates complies with standards for home and industrial composting, including ASTM D6400, ISO 17088, and EN 13432, and TUV OK Compost Home which stipulate that home compostable films disintegrate within 6 months and industrially compostable films disintegrate within 3 months.
Biodegradable vs. Compostable
The term ‘biodegradable’ represents a process, but not necessarily under what conditions or time frame, also, the rate of decomposition can vary significantly. Technically, all chemical compounds can be biodegradable under the right conditions, and will decompose over a certain period of time, but that time could be hundreds or thousands of years. For example, wood is biodegradable, but wooden structures don’t break down and can stand for generations. Trees are biodegradable, but stand for hundreds of years. If a material is compostable, it means that under composting conditions (heat, humidity, oxygen, & microorganisms) it will break down to CO2, water, and a nutrient-rich compost within a specific time frame.
Want to know even more? Check out our blog post.
Heat, humidity, oxygen, & microorganisms. Shredding the material into small pieces will help move along the degradation process. We encourage you to look further into this topic if it’s something you want to learn more deeply about. Take a look at this video from TUV Austria.
The main difference between home and industrial composting is the rate of biodegradation. Interested about learning more? European Bioplastics define the difference here.
Oxo-degradable plastics are made from non-biodegradable conventional plastics and supplemented with additives that chemically mimic biodegradation to facilitate fragmentation of the material. Oxo-degradable plastics break down into very small fragments that remain in the environment.
TIPA®’s compostable films and laminates were developed with a sophisticated set of properties with many of the capabilities and characteristics of conventional plastic, so that brands have the opportunity to use compostable packaging for their chain of supply without compromising on quality or sustainability.
TIPA® does not offer a solution for plastic cling/shrink wrap.
TIPA®’s compostable films are certified and abide by International standards which include eco-toxicity and heavy metals tests to assure all certified compostable materials are nourishing and perfectly safe to cultivate the soil.