The problem of single-use plastic is endemic. For decades we have been reaping the benefits of a material that is practical, versatile, and – unfortunately – incredibly long-lasting.
Thankfully, our eyes are slowly being opened to the devastation that single-use plastics are wreaking. Our oceans have become a massive plastic repository, wildlife is suffering in all sorts of nasty ways, and the high-carbon footprint of both manufacture and recycling (when it happens) is contributing to the global warming problem.
Why Compostable is better than Recyclable
While recycling is a lofty goal, it is a process that is flawed at so many levels. Items like plastic-coated coffee cups require specialist facilities, the process is high in energy usage, and transport requirements add to the carbon footprint.
But perhaps the biggest flaw of all is that a huge percentage of our single-use plastics is destined never to see the inside of a recycling plant. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, only 9% of all plastic ever produced has been recycled.
The same report lists a quite staggering fact that helps to put some context on the scale of the problem – It is estimated that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish!
Compostable Catering Products – An easy solution
Catering disposables are a large part of this problem, but it is also one of the easiest problems to address, and fortunately, both businesses and individuals are waking up to this fact.
Compostable catering supplies can play a large part in the battle to stop plastic pollution, reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce our dependence on finite resources. And they do all this whilst keeping our snacks, food products, and drinks in the perfect condition that consumers demand.
With only 9% of all plastics manufactured recycled, it is time to stop feeling good about ourselves when we pop our plastics in the recycling bin and take a compostable approach to the problem.
For clarification, it is worth at this point taking a look at the difference between biodegradable and compostable.
Biodegradable – Materials need to decompose quickly in the environment to be designated as biodegradable. However, there is no requirement for them to break down into organic substances that are suitable for composting.
Compostable – Compostable materials will break down easier than biodegradable materials and break down into organic compounds that can act as fertilizer and as a nutrient for soil.
To put it another way, all compostable materials are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable materials are compostable.
Why Switching to Compostable Catering Supplies is a No-brainer
The scale of the plastic problem is gargantuan. Recycling will always have a part to play in addressing this but will continuously have a “cameo role” when it comes to addressing the specific issues relevant to single-use plastics.
The fact of the matter is that no matter how hard we try, the practicalities of recycling single-use catering disposables on any scale is simply unfeasible.
But, switching to compostable catering supplies deals with the problem at a single stroke, and as well as being a sustainable and environmentally friendly option, it is also healthy for businesses.
Benefits for businesses of compostable catering disposables
For businesses making the switch in how they package their products, the benefits are plenty. Here are just a few of the main ones:
- It’s a great selling point
Consumers are increasingly basing purchasing decisions based on green issues. Businesses that offer sustainable and eco-friendly packaging are putting themselves in a prime position to take advantage of this change in consumer habits.
- Improved brand image
Managing a business means building a brand image that customers trust. Showing that your company cares about the environment and is taking responsible actions to help the planet increases brand loyalty.
- Showcase the quality of your product
Eco-friendly packaging has long been associated with quality products. Switching to compostable packaging is a great way of telling customers that quality is guaranteed.
- All this and you are helping to save the planet
Last, but definitely not least, is the fact that if we all make a simple change in how we package and choose our purchases, the world will be a far better place for us all!
Let’s conclude with another startling fact – If we look at just one facet of catering supplies in the shape of disposable coffee cups, then the 9% recycling figure looks positively grandiose. According to the BBC, only 0.25% of disposable cups will be recycled; the rest are destined to pollute our landscapes, oceans, and towns for centuries to come.
We are all in this together, all it takes is a simple change of habit, and the world will be a better place.
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