Biodegradable Vs Recyclable Packaging

At RollsPack we embrace sustainability at every available opportunity as we recognise the role modern organisations have to play in our planet’s future. Our range of initiatives can be found here at We offer sustainable packaging solutions such as recyclable and compostable packaging. What’s both interesting and surprising is the fact that recyclable is actually more environmentally friendly than compostable.

Compostable Packaging

The primary issue with compostable materials is the elements they need in order to breakdown. Composting requires sunlight, oxygen, and water which makes it challenging. Particularly when you consider the conditions they are likely to experience when placed in landfill. Buried underneath dirt and waste, they will not be able to breakdown and as such, lose all sustainable benefits.

Recent Study – Biodegradables Not Breaking Down

A recent study discovered biodegradable plastics were still able to serve as a shopping bag after spending 3 years in soil. Showing that the concept many believe about how biodegradable packaging simply breaks down within days of being introduced to the environment. The study (which was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology) ran tests of varieties of different shopping bags. They were exposed to open air, submersed in seawater and buried in soil. The research showed that all broke down within 9 months of being exposed to air, but in the soil exposure tests, the bags were still capable of holding 2kg worth of weekly groceries despite being buried for 3 years. The research and development of biodegradable packaging is very important. But as it currently stands, recyclable is still the most sustainable option. For the full story click here.

Recyclable Packaging

The alternative solution is recyclable packaging, something that is picking up more and more traction by the day. While the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s plan for 2025 includes compostable options, it’s primarily focused on recyclability. There are number of ways to repurpose materials during the recycling process such as textiles, insulation, chairs and benches. They can also be combined with additional materials to create useful surfaces for roads & airport runways. In some respects, the process is also more eco-friendly than other waste management options due to its minimal contribution to global warming and the conservation of existing materials.

No matter what industry you are in, if your business is searching for a sustainable packaging supplier then we would love to know how we can help.

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