Today many companies are deeply committed to environmentally-conscious packaging. Knohopack customers will be pleased to learn that we've also recently added this string to our bow with our biocompostable film. But how can you tell all the different sorts of green packaging apart from one another? Do bio-based and biodegradable really mean the same thing? Read all about it below.
Let's not beat around the bush. No, bio-based and biodegradable do NOT mean the same thing. Why? The designation 'bio-based' relates to the production process. How the product is made is the be all and end all. When it comes to bio-based products, they are produced with renewable, organic raw materials such as corn or sugar. However, many people think that these products are also biodegradable because of the raw materials used. That is not always the case.
While 'bio-based' gets its name from the start of the production process, biodegradable is different. Biodegradable is associated with the end of the packaging life cycle. This means that the product or packaging can be broken down naturally by fungi and bacteria and converted to water, CO2 and methane. However, this can take years for some biodegradable materials. If you have packaging made of bio-based materials, a degradation process of several years is not a problem since the components do not pollute the environment.
Again, this designation points to the end of a product's life. In this case the product is broken down biologically. The difference between compostable and biodegradable lies in the time frame. Where biodegradable products can take many years to fully decompose, compostable products are subject to a time limit if they are to meet a given standard. For example, to meet the EN13432 standard (which covers compostable products), a product must degrade at least 95% within 12 weeks in an industrial composting facility. What if a product takes longer? Then it is biodegradable not compostable.
Looking for green packaging or printing? Get in touch to discuss the options!