09 Sep It’s Fine, It’s Biodegradable
Looking into the consumption of biodegradable products and how to dispose of them.
It’s no secret that we must recycle our plastics, metals and glass, reuse anything that we can and buy
sustainable packaging, and support businesses that do but are we consuming and disposing of
biodegradable products responsibly or are we creating another problem that decreases the Earths
chances at survival.
Buying biodegradable packaging and supporting restaurants and coffee shops that only serve food in
biodegradable packages is great but the major weight of environmental sustainability is low
production and consumption as well as responsible waste management, so excessively buying
biodegradable packaging and throwing them in the trash is as good as drinking from that plastic
straw you work so hard to avoid.
Many consumers have taken advantage of biodegradable packaging and sustainable solutions by
excessively buying them in the name of “It’s fine, it’s biodegradable”, without knowing that they are
still a part of the problem by exploiting the solution. The reason why we are in this dooming disaster
of climate change and eco-system compromise is because humans misunderstand what the planet
has for our need, which in itself is limited and not our greed, which is our desires and that can be
unlimited. Buying biodegradable products also comes with the responsibility of knowing how much
to consume and what is the best way to dispose of them, that’s making a true difference.
As much as it’s biodegradable, that doesn’t mean it can end up in normal trash cans and thrown on
the lawn because hey, “It’s fine, It’s biodegradable”. For the product to biodegrade it needs certain
conditions to do so, which are oxygen and healthy bacteria that feed on plant-based waste as well as
animal waste, only then will it be beneficial to the environment. When you throw away
biodegradable in your normal trash bin, these products go to landfills where they are buried, where
beneficial bacteria are unable to grow because there is no oxygen and that leads to the
biodegradable material breaking down without oxygen and bacteria, which produces methane, a
greenhouse gas that is harmful to the environment.
How to dispose of biodegradable products
To make your purchase beneficial to the environment you must throw your biodegradables into the
recycling bin or hand them to a commercial compost heap near you. Even though it’s biodegradable
it takes a bit of time to degrade into the environment and it must be done under the right
conditions, these materials are not great for compost unless your packaging is compostable.
How to limit your consumption of biodegradable packaging
Most biodegradables are coffee cups and take-away containers from your favourite restaurant and
these tips may make you seem like a weirdo but being weird isn’t so bad when mother nature is
patting your back for it.
When ordering your coffee to go, make sure you have your travel mug with you.
If you are going to exploit your coffee shop’s Wi-Fi to answer those dreadful emails, always
opt for having your coffee in a mug or cup.
If you know you always have leftovers after lunch with friends, have a lunchbox in which you
can store them in.
Going to buy a bag of nuts or fruit? Carry a fabric bag with you or bring a jar so they can just
refill it with whatever you need.
I hope we will be more mindful when it comes to biodegradable and also mindful of our
consumption of them.
– Shnack Sustainably Friends!