Consumers more and more are looking for compostable packaging and sustainable label printing. The number of compostable packaging options and products is growing to meet customer demand, and companies are developing earth-friendly packaging to satisfy customer demand while supporting environmental initiatives.
Brands across the world are offering compostable alternatives to traditional packaging products, packing, and labels. Items like compostable single serving coffee pods, for example, as well as cups and straws, bags, to-go containers and more are becoming more common.
Let’s talk a little more about the reasons behind this trend, and why composting is so important.
What Does “Compostable” Mean?
Compostable products are defined as biodegradable and non-toxic. According to the UK government, biodegradable plastics are those that can break down into water, biomass, and gases like carbon dioxide and methane within 90 to 180 days of disposal. The waste then disintegrates into compost.
(To learn more about the stringent standards and requirements for compostable materials, visit: Packaging Waste Directive & Compostable Packaging)
The idea is to not leave a trace – which is the largest differentiator between compostable products and recyclable products – they disappear entirely.
(Though recycling is useful as well, read more: NCCO Clear Labels Help Boost Plastics Recycling)
Biodegradability depends on environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, microorganisms present, and oxygen.
Composting is Here to Stay
While composting is all about breaking down and leaving nothing behind, the trend itself is robust and shows no signs of disappearing.
Many of the world’s largest and most developed countries and regions are responding to public concerns about packaging waste, especially regarding single-use packaging waste. Governments are introducing regulations to drive sustainability, minimise environmental waste and improve waste-management processes.
For example, 16 states in the United States have enacted packaging waste regulations. These regulations typically target single-use plastics and shopping bags, while boosting recycling targets as well. While this is less than 50% of the nation’s states, several more bills are pending to be approved over the next 2-3 years.
The European Union, on the other hand, is moving much more quickly toward sustainability goals. New regulations were announced back in 2019 – “New EU Directive for Single-Use Plastics” – looking to reduce leakage of the plastic products most found on European beaches.
Germany is currently leading the charge, recycling and composting 65% of waste. South Korea comes in second, with 59% of its waste processed through sustainable measures. Austria and Slovenia tie for third at 58%, while Belgium and Taiwan deserve mention with a 55% rate of recycling and composting.
A Compostable Solution
So, why do consumers care about compostable packaging? And what is the actual benefit of switching to or using more compostable packaging and materials?
Cut Back on Carbon
Many shoppers care about compostable packaging simply because it’s environmentally-friendly and reduces their carbon footprint. This takes precedence over simple convenience. Eco-friendly product packaging is generally made from biodegradable materials that help reduce waste during production, and manufacturing as well is generally more efficient.
Cut Down on Waste
Similarly, customers prefer compostable packaging because it constitutes zero waste for them. Customers often have a negative view of a company if they’re forced to throw a product away without any potential for reuse, or recycling, let alone composting.
Plus, compostable packaging is often more useful and versatile than traditional packaging. A consumer is often able to reuse the package after the contents are gone.
Follow the Trend
It has become popular to use environmentally-friendly products. Gone are the days when composting and eco-consciousness were seen only as fringe issues. The popularity of composting, and reducing, reusing, and recycling, has been growing exponentially.
Try Eco-Friendly Compostable Labels from NCCO
As demand for compostable and recyclable materials continues to rise, the need for sustainable product label printing rises as well.
NCCO now offers eco-friendly DateCodeGenie® compostable labels that completely bio-degradable for both at-home and industrial composting. They are made of high-quality material ideal for takeaway and grab-and-go compostable packaging, as well for multiple uses in the catering, hospitality, and foodservice industries.
Our new DateCodeGenie compostable labels complement our recyclable DateCodeGenie clear labels to offer a selection of excellent high-quality options for any of your eco-friendly labeling needs.