Difference between recyclable, biodegradable and compostable packaging

Difference between recyclable, biodegradable and compostable packaging

As someone who is very passionate about saving this world, I personally found it very difficult to recycle in an appropriate way in the UK. 

So, today I would like to look at the main types of packaging and help others to differentiate types of packaging and recycle them properly if you are in the UK. 

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the impact of plastic waste on the environment, particularly on our oceans and wildlife. As a result, there has been an increased focus on sustainable packaging solutions, such as recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable packaging.

Recyclable Packaging:

Recyclable packaging is made from materials that can be recycled, such as paper, cardboard, glass, and certain types of plastic. When these materials are recycled, they can be turned into new products, reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. I personally get confused sometimes with which types of plastic can be recycled and what certain signs mean, so this is a good source with images to use. 

which types of plastic is recycled

*image source is from here.

In the UK, many local councils provide recycling services, which means that you can put your recyclable packaging in your recycling bin or take it to a recycling centre. However, it's important to note that not all materials are recyclable in all areas, so you should check with your local council to find out what can be recycled in your area. Having lived in different London councils, I can certainly say that they all deal differently with waste and if you live in a flat, it's more likely you won't be required to recycle which is very sad news for the environment.  

Biodegradable Packaging:

Biodegradable packaging is made from materials that will break down naturally over time, such as plant-based materials or certain types of plastic. However, it's important to note that not all biodegradable packaging is created equal, and some types may still take a long time to break down or may release harmful substances into the environment.

In the UK, biodegradable packaging can be disposed of in your regular bin or taken to a composting facility. However, it's important to check the packaging to see if it is certified as biodegradable and compostable, as not all biodegradable packaging is suitable for composting.

Compostable Packaging:

Compostable packaging is made from materials that will break down quickly and safely in a composting environment, leaving behind only natural substances. This type of packaging is often made from plant-based materials such as cornstarch, and is designed to be composted in industrial composting facilities.

In the UK, compostable packaging should be disposed of in a food waste bin or taken to a composting facility. It's important to note that compostable packaging should not be put in your regular recycling bin, as it may contaminate other recyclable materials.

Conclusion:

Recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable packaging all have their benefits, but it's important to understand the differences between them and how to dispose of them properly.

Recyclable packaging is a good option for reducing waste, but it's important to check what can be recycled in your area. Biodegradable packaging can be disposed of in your regular bin, but it's important to check if it is certified as biodegradable and compostable. Compostable packaging should be disposed of in a food waste bin or taken to a composting facility, and should not be put in your regular recycling bin.

By choosing the right type of packaging and disposing of it properly, we can all play a part in reducing our impact on the environment.

 

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