Why plastic packaging...?
I’m asked all the time about why I use plastic packaging rather than a more environmentally friendly alternative.
It was something I struggled with for a while until I decided to do some research into it.
The alternatives to plastic packaging are either biodegradable or compostable products. It’s a common misconception that biodegradable and compostable mean the same thing, but they don’t;
Biodegradable items can break down within the environment with the help of bacteria or other living organisms. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Some biodegradable plastics can degrade into tiny pieces in around 20 years but they are still harmful to the environment. As they aren’t reusable or recyclable they can only go in the general waste bin which is used for electricity generation.
Compostable items are made from organic materials and break down eventually into nutrient rich compost. Sadly they don’t break down at the same rate as food waste and they aren’t reusable or recyclable, so they can also only go in the general waste bin.
The only material which is both reusable AND widely recyclable is high grade polypropylene (PP) (most local recycling centres will only recycle high grade PP containers as other plastics aren’t high enough quality to recycle)
After much careful thought I chose a high grade PP tub as this can be reused as something else (think pen pots/art caddies/Lego/sweets/overnight oats etc) immediately, or can easily be recycled into something else much more quickly than a biodegradable or compostable alternative.