Deciding to live a more sustainable lifestyle is a great thing, however, there are a few myths to be mindful of. Some green ideas thought to be factual are actually not as good for the environment as was once believed. Allow us to set the record straight and separate the truths from the misinformation.
Myth: Biodegradable items will decompose in landfill
Wrong. Even the most credible biodegradable product will not be able to live up to its eco-promise if thrown away with the general trash. There are many instances where the words on a newspaper that’s decades old can still easily be read. This lack of decomposition is simply because landfills do not have the right elements to allow biodegradable items to break down naturally. Garbage in a landfill environment is compacted so tightly that it doesn’t let air in, meaning any possible biodegradation will occur extremely slowly. Without heat, humidity, air and microorganisms, products that were created to be biodegradable will just sit in the trash heap like any other piece of plastic.
If this causes you concern, consider starting your own home compost for things like food scraps, old newspapers, cardboard and compostable packaging.
Myth: It’s impossible to avoid plastic
The idea of going plastic-free can feel overwhelming, but it’s not impossible. Avoiding the use of everyday plastics just requires a little planning.
It’s a sad truth that plastic is everywhere. From individually wrapped fruit at the supermarket to the unnecessary layers of wrap in mail deliveries, single-use plastics can be found on just about everything. This toxic trend will continue harming the environment unless each one of us opts out of using plastic and avoids buying items with non-compostable casing whenever we can.
The first step toward a plastic-free lifestyle is to make sure you have a stash of reusable shopping bags stashed in convenient places. (The next step is to remember to take them with you when you head out to buy groceries.)
Instead of picking up a take-away coffee in a disposable cup, ask the barista to refill your reusable mug instead. Most cafés are more than happy to make your latte in a provided cup, and some even offer a discount when you bring your own.
Take a packed lunch to work or school in a durable container instead of ordering food that’s packaged in single-use plastic.
Cutting plastic out of your life is doable; it just takes a bit of preplanning and preparation.
Myth: Anything that has an eco-friendly name is good for the environment
Not always. In recent years there’s been a lot of misleading information about ‘green plastics’. Common terms like ‘eco-friendly’, ‘green’ and ‘natural’ aren’t regulated, which makes it tricky to identify an item that is compostable from one that isn’t.
Instead of taking products at face value, make sure you look for the certification logo on the packaging. Globally, there are a number of industry certifications which recognise how well a product can naturally decompose. These certifications prove the product has passed the rigorous testing to be considered ‘safe’ for the environment and gives consumers confidence that the ‘green’ product they’re buying really does do what it says on the box.
The Because We Care range is among only a few truly biodegradable products in Australia and has been certified by the Australasian Bioplastics Association. All our bags will decompose completely when placed in a home or commercial composting facility.
Learn more about certifications and what they mean.