What does Biodegradable really mean?
Well, from a scientific point, a 'biodegradable' object is one that will break down quickly and safely into harmless compounds by using the action of microorganisms.
Now that’s a fairly good representation of what everyday consumers like you and I may think in our day to day lives when we see such messaging on for example, the side of coffee cups, plastic bags, baby wipes or even day to day packaging however there is a common misconception with the term Biodegradable.
The reality is that Biodegradable plastics do not yet meet our expectations as consumers and although the claims are not false (in most cases), they are misconceived and these biodegradable plastics have actually not yet been found to be much better for our environment than their nasty predecessors.
The reason for this is simply that, for biodegradable plastics to degrade over time they require very specific conditions which the majority of the UK recycling plants do not provide for example, bins with very specific moisture, air and heat levels. In other words they need very special treatment to actually pose no threat or harm to our environment and nature. This is made more complex by oxo-biodegradable plastics which contains additives which speed up the degradation process making them seem a suitable alternative, again this is incorrect. Studies have found that this type of plastic does indeed break down quicker however it does not biodegrade completely meaning it simple turns into micro-plastics which as we know cause serious harm to our environment and it’s wildlife.
Unfortunately with consumers becoming ever more conscious of their purchasing habits and its effect on our environment, brands and businesses have quickly jumped on the ‘Biodegradable’ bandwagon in an attempt to present their sustainability measures to their audience and showcase themselves as ‘sustainable’ and ‘forward thinking’ businesses so as to not lose customer loyalty or sales.
We encourage you as conscious consumers to put pressures on larger brands, demand true transparency about every aspect of their business and to really question their morals and ethics to ensure their claims are valid and truthful.
To find out a little more about how we are doing everything we can be to a leading 360 degree sustainable brand please take a look at our about us page and discover our ethical and environmentally friendly practices that help create our beautiful affordable sustainable activewear.