(Oxo) degradable, biodegradable, compostable – new factsheet

Confused about these terms? Our new factsheet explains the important difference. On www.vegware.com/downloads it’s the last one under ‘factsheets’.  Here’s some key info…

Oxo-degradable or degradable plastic =

oil based plastic + an additive to make it fragment in oxygen and sunlight

degradable plastic bags and marine life environmental problems

Biodegradable =

can break down naturally, with microbes, warmth and moisture. But in what time scale? Being ‘biodegradable’ is no guarantee it can break down fast enough to be included in food waste recycling.

Compostable =

can biodegrade in under 12 weeks. Suitable for food waste recycling. All Vegware is completely compostable – and we hold independent certification to prove it.

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Degradable plastics – not recyclable

  • Recyclers say no – these leading recycling authorities warn against the use of oxo-degradable products:
    • The European Plastic Recyclers (EuPR)
    • The Association of Post Consumer Plastic Recyclers (APR)
    • The International Biopolymers Association (IBAW)
    • The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI)
  • Food waste recycling – no thanks. Degradable plastics are not compostable. So unlike Vegware’s compostable packaging, they cannot be recycled with food waste
  • Only option: landfill or incineration. Degradable plastics can only go to landfill, or at best incineration. Due to lack of oxygen or sunlight, they are unlikely to degrade in landfill


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