What are the benefits of compostable, flexible packaging?

Compostable packaging has many benefits, including the fact that it can be treated like organic waste, and therefore, decompose naturally just like organic matter. When compostable packaging is discarded in the organic waste stream as compost, it will fully decompose within 6 months into a natural fertilizer for soil and plants.

What is the required amount of time for compostable packaging to completely break down?

International standards for compostable packaging include ASTM D6400, EN 13432 and ISO 17088, and require compostable materials to biodegrade within 180 days.

How long does it take for TIPA's products to break down?

All of TIPA’s films, laminates and packaging solutions naturally break down in any industrial compost facility in under 180 days.

Are there any hazardous consequences from the breakdown of fully compostable packaging?

International standards include eco-toxicity and heavy metal testing to assure that all certified compostable materials are nourishing and perfectly safe for the cultivation of soil.
See quote (From EN 134232) “The key requirements are: Quality of the final compost and eco-toxicity… this involves making an examination to see if the germination and biomass production of plants are not adversely affected by the influence of composted packaging.”

What is the difference between home and industrial composting?

While composting under industrial and/or home compost conditions yield identical results, industrial compost systems utilize more controlled conditions, including high heat, high humidity and the presence of bacteria/microorganisms – all in all, a more efficient process. Home composting typically varies from season to season, and is dependent upon the relative atmospheric conditions of the compost, as well as on anything from local climate and soil conditions, to what is added to the compost.

What does 'bio-based' mean?

According to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), a bio-based product is one that is “wholly or partly derived from biomass, such as plants, trees or animals.” Using bio-based products helps decrease dependence on fossil sources.

Can I discard compostable packaging anywhere I please (i.e. ocean and nature)?

At TIPA, we encourage the proper disposal of all kinds of waste, including organic and TIPA products.
The idea behind TIPA’s film and laminate solutions is that when organic waste is collected for composting, the composting process and ultimately the end result can act as a natural fertilizer for plants.

What conditions trigger the biodegradation process?

The right temperature, humidity and heat will trigger the biodegradation process.

Once the packages are produced, these conditions start to act very slowly, but only when they reach appropriate composting conditions, does the full degradation cycle begin to take place. Compostable packaging is designed to be treated in either industrial or home compost facilities. Some of TIPA’s films and laminates are suitable for home composting. Below we discuss the difference between industrial and home composting:

Industrial compost facilities maintain controlled conditions where the presence of high heat, high humidity and bacteria/microorganisms speed up the rate of biodegradation. The degradation process occurring in home compost bins varies according to climate and its maintenance. The rate of biodegradation can vary compared to a more controlled, industrial facility.

What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable packaging?

Biodegradation is a biological process in which materials are metabolized into CO2, water and biomass, with the help of microorganisms. The process of biodegradation depends on the conditions of the specific environment and on the material or application itself, and therefore, the rate of decomposition varies significantly.

Compostability describes material which biodegrades within a time frame of 180 days under composting conditions — high humidity, high temperature and the presence of microorganisms and bacteria. The specific conditions are described as ‘standards,’ such as the European standard for industrial composting EN 13432 (for packaging) or EN 14995 (for plastic material in general). Materials and products complying with these standards can be certified and labelled accordingly.

What should I do with TIPA's packaging after use?

TIPA’s packaging should be discarded in an organic waste stream, for example a home compost bin or a local facility.

What happens to TIPA’s packaging if it ends up in a landfill?

TIPA’s packaging should be treated the same as organic waste. The rate at which TIPA’s materials will decompose depends on surrounding conditions. In an uncontrolled environment such as a landfill, it is difficult to estimate how long it will take TIPA’s products to decompose.

What happens to TIPA’s packaging if it ends up in the ocean?

No waste should ever end up in the ocean! Currently, there is no global standard addressing waste spilling into natural ecosystems. We aim for TIPA’s products to be part of the organic waste stream, encouraging a circular economy, consumer education and global infrastructure, therefore reducing ocean waste.

Can TIPA’s packaging be recycled?

Compostable packaging cannot be recycled in traditional facilities. However, it can be naturally recycled in a home and/or industrial compost facility where it will biodegrade back into nature in the form of water, carbon dioxide and organic matter.

What are TIPA’s certificates?

Our solutions are fully compostable, abiding by international standards (EN 13432, ASTM D6400, ISO 17088). All of TIPA’s products are certified by TUV Austria for industrial composting, and several of our products are also certified by TUV Austria for home composting.

What is TIPA’s shelf life, and policy concerning shelf life?

Shelf life is dependent on the material construction used for specific products. We guarantee six months shelf life, but depending on the application and materials used, shelf life can be extended to 12 months.

What is TIPA’s packaging made of?

TIPA’s packaging is made from a proprietary blend of fully compostable polymers, resulting in packaging solutions that look, act and function like conventional plastic, while safely returning to nature at its end-of-life. TIPA offers certified, fully compostable features/add-ons to our packaging solutions including zippers, valves and ink — all fully compostable.

Is TIPA’s packaging designed to be heated?

Our products are not designed to be heated in a microwave, oven or stove.

Can I freeze TIPA’s packaging?

Yes, our packaging is suitable for freezing conditions.

Is it possible to pack liquids in TIPA’s packaging?

Currently, our materials are not suitable for the packaging of liquid because humidity catalyzes the degradation process.

What are TIPA’s barrier properties?

TIPA offers a variety of laminate solutions with different barrier properties for moisture and oxygen. We evaluate the customer requirement and determine the suitable material construction.

What are the storage conditions for TIPA products?

Flexible packaging (compostable and non-compostable) typically requires cool, dry storage conditions below 30°C with a relative humidity of 50%, and TIPA’s packaging is no different.

What is so special about TIPA’s packaging?

Compostable polymers have existed in the market for the past 20 years, but its use has been minimal due to the limitations of its properties. Existing products include shopping bags, waste bags and single-use food service products.

Food packaging requires different barrier properties such as oxygen and moisture barriers, to ensure that relevant shelf life is achieved. TIPA has worked on different material constructions for many years, developing the necessary barriers required for food products.

Our transparent and durable materials are suitable for standard flexible packaging machine application. TIPA’s research team continues to develop materials with enhanced properties able to withstand the rigorous requirements of the flexible packaging industry.

What is the minimum order quantity for TIPA’s packaging?

The minimum order quantity for TIPA’s made-to-order products is 25,000 units per SKU, and 20,000 meters or 1 ton of material, for reels.

What is the lead time from order to delivery?

The lead time is typically 8-12 weeks for production, excluding transport.

Does TIPA provide the raw material?

TIPA do not provide raw material, such as resins and/or pellets. We may offer films that are cast or blown for converting machines.

Does TIPA need special converting machinery to produce its packaging?

TIPA’s products can be converted on conventional, converting machinery, the same machinery already used for conventional, flexible plastic packaging.

What type of sealing machine can TIPA use on its packaging?

TIPA’s products can be used on standard heat sealing machines, as well as low-temperature sealing machines.

What type of printing machine can be used on TIPA’s packaging?

Most of TIPA’s products can be printed on Flexo printing process. We also have the option to print on Gravure and digital, but we recommend if you have any questions, to contact us on your specific printing needs.

How much does TIPA’s packaging cost?

The pricing of our products is contingent on various parameters such as quantity, the product inside the package, the thickness of the material, printing options, shelf life needed and more.

Does TIPA sell packaging to the end consumer?

Currently, TIPA does not sell directly to the end consumer. TIPA’s film and laminate solutions are sold to brands, converters and distributors which will then be sold on the market for consumers.