What is the difference between "Recyclable" and "Recycled"?


Recyclable is used to describe items that can be "recycled", for instance paperboard, PET bottles and metals. Packaging can be made of virgin materials or recycled materials or both and be "recyclable". Recycled (often refer as "recycled content") means the products or packaging are made of recycled materials, i.e. rPET (recycled polyethylene terephtalate) comes from plastic that has already been used. You can also find paperboard with a certain % of recycled fiber or 100% post consumer waste paper.




What is the difference between "Biodegradable" and "Compostable"?


"Biodegradable" means something that naturally breaks down regardless of the duration. "Compostable" (or "compostability") by international standard EN13432 refers to the tested items that can fulfill the following criteria:

  • Disintegration – the packaging sample is mixed with organic waste and maintained under test scale composting conditions for 12 weeks after which time no more than 10 % of material fragments are allowed be larger than 2 mm.
  • Biodegradability - a measure of the actual metabolic, microbial conversion, under composting conditions, of the packaging sample into water, carbon dioxide and new cell biomass. Within a maximum of 6 months, biodegradation of the test sample must generate an amount of carbon dioxide that is at least 90 % as much as the carbon dioxide given off from the control / reference material.
  • Absence of any negative effect on the composting process.
  • Low levels of heavy metals (Potentially Toxic Elements) and no adverse effect of the quality of compost produced. Upper limits, in mg/kg of dry sample, are: zinc 150, copper 50, nickel 25, cadmium 0.5, lead 50, mercury 0.5, chromium 50, molybdenum 1, selenium 0.75, arsenic 5 and fluoride 100.
  • The composted packaging material must not have adverse effect on the bulk density, pH, salinity (electrical conductivity), volatile solids, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, total magnesium, total potassium and ammonium nitrogen characteristics of the compost.




What is "Sustainable Packaging"?


This is one of the most frequently asked questions by our customers.

There isn't any straight answer to this question as the answer varies under different circumstances and localities. A holistic life-cycle assessment (LCA) with consideration on materials, manufacturing processes, distribution methods and end-of-life treatments etc. would help you and your corporations to determine whether the packaging is more sustainable than the others.

We encourage the use of renewable and recycled materials to begin with as the careful selection of materials would facilitate an ideal closed-loop system. Apart from the choice of materials, conscious packaging design with good understanding on end-user’s consumption habits (plus adequate awareness on the use of packaging) would allow your end-users to champion the closed-loop system.

As we work with customers from all over the world, we are mindful of the distribution and end-of-life treatments are different from place to place. We actively explore greener and innovative materials and line up collaborations to suit our customers’ needs.





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