We realise compostable courrier bags are a hot topic at the moment so we thought you might like to read a little more information about them.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions surrounding our bags.
Are your compostable bags able to be composted at home and in commercial facilities?
Yes, our compostable courier bags are both home and commercially compostable. They have both the Australian Bioplastic Association AS4736-2006 certification (industrial/commercial) Australian Bioplastic Association AS5810-2010 (home) and the European EN13432-2000 (home and industrial) certification.
Remove all labels before and tape before composting (these from us can be recycled throughout NZ)
How long will they take to decompose in the compost pile?
Under the AS4736-2006 certification (commercial) and EN13432-2000 the compostable bags are required to meet the following requirements:
- minimum biodegradation of 90% of the bioplastic/materials within 180 days compost
- minimum of 90% of the bioplastic/materials should disintegrate into less than 2mm pieces in compost within 12 weeks
- no toxic effect of the resulting compost on plants and earthworms
- hazardous substances such as heavy metals should not be present above the maximum allowed levels
That means that 90 percent or more of the plastic material will have been converted to Carbon Dioxide. The remaining share is converted into water and biomass, which no longer contains any plastic.
These timeframes in which the bags will break down is dependent on many factors such as moisture and constant temperature - this is more variable in a home composting situation versus a commercial facility.
What are your compostable courier bags made from?
Our compostable courier bags are made from cornstarch PLA (A renewable and sustainable resource as they can grow and be harvested in one season) and other biodegradable materials such as PBAT (a biodegradable thermoplastic). PBAT is current derived from petroleum based products as there are no alternatives - YET (the technology today is moving fast and there are those seeking to find a renewable solution). Producing a bag with 100% PLA would be too brittle and difficult to compost so be cautious when others claim this fact.
As you read above, PLA and PBAT are internationally recognised as biodegradable and compostable - leaving behind no toxic residues when composted.
Are biobased plastics the same as the traditional plastics?
No, as traditional plastics are not compostable, or derived from starch. A Compostable Courier Bag is essentially plastic FREE.
What are the inks made of?
The inks on our compostable bags are soy based and non toxic.
Can compostable courier bags be recycled?
No, as the bags are not PET plastic, they cannot be recycled.
What happens if the compostable courier bag goes into the landfill?
While this may be an inevitable outcome at the end of life for the compostable courier bags, we still believe there are still pre-life benefits of the raw materials in PLA exists.
Due to the dry and oxygen-deprived conditions of landfills, the bags will most likely remain inert.