Understanding the Difference Between Recyclable, Reusable, and Compostable Packages

compostable cups

Making the change to eco-conscious packaging can ensure that your business will not experience packaging problems or shortages in the future. However, not all eco-friendly packaging products and materials offer the same benefits. There are three main improvements that this packaging has over plastic packaging: it is recyclable, reusable and/or compostable. It is important that you understand the differences between these benefits before choosing new packaging. Here is the difference between reusable, recyclable, and compostable packaging.

Compostable Packaging

compostable packaging

Compostable packaging, like our “Tung” Bamboo Mini Spoon (SKU 209BBNEMKIN) and Black Compostable Paper Straws (SKU 8NPCHP19BLK1), is made out of materials that will break down in a compost pile. Composting involves combining different materials so that they create a nutrient-rich fertilizer as they break down. Many people compost at home, making compostable packaging a way of attracting a new customer base. Plus, more restaurants are moving toward sustainable systems like composting to help provide resources to farmers that grow the food that restaurants need.

Not all eco-friendly materials are compostable. Brown papers and certain wood fibers break down and release nutrients into the soil, making them ideal materials for compostable packaging. In general, natural materials that are not processed are usually compostable. Bamboo is a natural material that has not been processed in any way other than shaping. Therefore, the right conditions will allow it to break down. Over a short period of time.

Reusable Packaging

reusable packaging

An alternative to single use packaging is reusable packaging. These containers are usually made out of metals, glass, wood, and porcelain. This makes them both durable, heat-resistant, and water-resistant so that they can be cleaned and reused. Each material has its own benefits. Metal containers, like our Black Steel Basket with Side Designs (SKU 294BASKO22), can be cleaned and reused indefinitely. Glass containers, like our Glass Seal Jar With Transparent Seal Rings, (SKU TRANSPARENT210BOKA150) are water and air tight, which makes them great for storing ingredients and takeout. Our Mini Porcelain Soup Tureen (SKU 210MBPLION) has a bright white finish that is both classy and heat-resistant enough to bake in. You can mix and match them until you find the setup that works best for your restaurant.

Recyclable Packaging

recycable packaging

If you are using single serve packaging, then look for recyclable packaging. It is generally made out of any material that can be re-processed and reused. For example, our Spiral Stainless Steel Basket (SKU 294CONE1315) can be recycled since it is just made out of stainless steel. A processing plant will melt it down and reshape it into something else, avoiding a landfill entirely. Metal, some plastics, natural papers, and even wood products can be recycled. Recyclable packaging is often used multiple times before it wears out. So, you and your customers could get extended use before needing to recycle the packaging. Recyclable packaging also makes it easier to find a compromise between the packaging that you have and a similar option that is better for the environment.

At PacknWood, we work hard to find alternatives to plastics that create high-quality products and are better for the planet. If you are looking to make the switch to eco-friendly packaging. To learn more about our line of green food packaging, email us at contact@packnwood.com to request a catalog.

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