Pack Chips Bio Packaging Fillers: Between Ecology and Practice

Division of Fillers: Ecology vs. Traditional Materials

Pack Chips Bio is like the Polish national football team playing at this year’s Euros. Everything seems to be known, the theory is known, the goals are clear, but when it comes to practice, serious doubts begin to arise.

Benefits of Organic Pack Chips Bio Fillers: Potato and Maize Starch

Let’s start with the obvious. When it comes to fillers in general, we can divide them into those that have nothing to do with ecology. For example, bubble wrap or plastic crisps, and the much more environmentally friendly biodegradable and compostable fillers. The latter two are usually made from potato starch or corn. They are lightweight, durable and anti-static. They are suitable for all kinds of shipments, including air mail. They are also environmentally safe as they decompose or dissolve in water.

Certification and Standards: Importance of ISO 16929:2013 and EN 1343

After fulfilling their function, such fillers can be reused or easily and safely disposed of. Those available at T-Pack are also certified by the Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials in Opole and in accordance with the ISO 16929:2013 standard. This is important because, based on the EN 13432 standard, which was developed on the basis of Directive 94/62/EC and is a standard generally applicable in the European Union, the testing body confirms the suitability of the packaging for recovery by composting.

Simple as that sounds, but this is where the doubts mentioned at the outset begin. The increase in online sales caused by the coronavirus pandemic has resulted not only in increased competition in the market, but also in a change in consumer demands. In Poland alone, 5 000 new online shops have been set up and have had to adapt to the new realities.

Distinction between Biodegradable and Compostable Fillers

One important variable that has emerged on the customer’s purchase path is ecology. Specifically, a consistent corporate image in this regard. For example, when we order pickles in jars or bottled beetroot sourdough from a natural food e-store, when we open the parcel we should see organic fillers and product protection, not bubble wrap.

This is the case in the vast majority of cases, as best evidenced by the increase in sales of eco-fillers. However, many people who use eco-fillers get confused by using the terms “biodegradable” and “compostable” interchangeably.

This is a mistake, as they mean different things, even though the product referred to as such can be both biodegradable and compostable.

In the case of starch fillers, the term biodegradable means that it breaks down naturally and leaves no harmful compounds behind. However, the duration of this decomposition is not specified.

In contrast, compostable fillers break down into fertiliser when processed in industrial composting plants or home composters.

Problems of Processing and Disposal of Biodegradable Fillers.

The problem also arises with allocating them to the correct bin. The theory is that biodegradable and compostable fillers should go into the brown bin for bio waste. However, not all collectors have the right technology to process biodegradable products.

MPO Krakow reports that crisps, referred to as biodegradable filler, should go into mixed waste. Precisely because it cannot be processed by the industrial composting technology used. However, they can always be dissolved in water and thus safely disposed of.

The complexity of the Pack Chips Bio Filler Theme and Hope for the Future.

Finally, it is worth mentioning Oxo products, i.e. those with an additive called d2w, which is a mixture of salts added to the plastic during the production process at the factory. It produces a plastic described as “oxo-biodegradable”, which the manufacturer claims will decompose in the environment.

However, the European Parliament has passed a directive preventing Oxo products from being described as biodegradable. According to the MEPs, there is no evidence that d2w bags will be “fully biodegradable” within a ‘reasonable time’, hence the claim that this type of material can provide a solution to the plastic litter problem is unfounded.

Seemingly trivial fillers, are as we can see a rather complex subject at least for the moment. It is to be hoped that their status will soon be sorted out, much like the playing of our national football team.

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