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biodegradable packaging

Banning ‘Biodegradable’ from Sustainability Conversations

biodegradable packagingThe B word — biodegradable — is outdated and doesn’t belong in sustainability conversations, Adam Gendell, project manager at GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition, writes in a Packaging Digest column.

The problem with the B word, he writes, is that sometimes biodegradable can improve sustainability but sometimes it’s a detractor.

Where is a product likely to biodegrade: In a home composting operation? In an industrial composting operation? On the side of the interstate? In a landfill? Producers can’t guarantee where their packaging will end up so assessing a package’s sustainability requires considering each scenario, Gendell says.

As an alternate to the B word, Gendell suggests a C word: compostability. This tells if a package has the potential for an environmentally beneficial end-of-life scenario involving its decomposition.

Sustainability is not an optional add-on, but rather an essential part of business for the packaging industry, Food Production Daily reports. Buyers want to know how a product was made, where it comes from and its recyclability. Communicating a commitment to sustainability on packaging is key to attracting and keeping customers, the article says.

Image Credit: biodegradable packaging via Shutterstock

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