The compostable bags:
Bioplastics are derived from vegetable products such as potato starch or corn starch.
From the biodegradable and compostable bag, we can already indicate that they will biodegrade under composting conditions and in about 9 months at temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees centigrade and a relative humidity between 40 and 60%.
However, if it is not disposed of in this way, it has a shorter life in the environment than polyethylene, it has the capacity to decompose under normal conditions in a year and a half, which also does not logically imply that we should abandon it at will.
Natural resources to replace polymers:
When it comes to bio-compostable bags, the polymers used to manufacture high or low density polyethylene are replaced by natural resources, generally potato or corn starch.
These renewable plant resources make it possible to change the origin of the raw material for the plastic that is converted into bioplastic without the need to use petroleum by-products.
Properties of compostable bags:
The properties of biodegradable bags are the same as those of polyethylene, i.e. they have the same flexibility, are highly resistant, waterproof and moisture-resistant.
Proper recycling of biodegradable compostable bags
As far as recycling is concerned, it is possible to deposit them in a container for purely organic waste (which can be turned into compost), but at the moment there are very few containers of this type and this is still a pending issue for the town halls, while they have to be deposited in the "rest" containers (i.e. what is not glass, plastic, metal or paper).
Rules for the regulation of compostable containers:
There is a standard that regulates compostable containers of vegetable origin, compostable and biodegradable, according to the UNE EN 13432:2001 standard.
This European standard specifies the requirements and procedures for determining compostability:
These requirements can be summarized as follows:
Composition control: elements that constitute the material and are harmful to the environment when exceeding the limits of heavy metals must not be introduced, as they are not suitable for organic recovery.
And an evaluation: where we will analyze: The components of the material, including the heavy metals
We will check its biodegradability, which would be that in 6 months, 90% is degraded.
To disintegrate in a predefined maximum size, that is to say, in fragments of less than 2×2 mm after 4 months.
And, above all, the resulting biological waste is adapted to the compost.
When packaging contains components that may not be compostable, the packaging itself is not considered compostable unless it can be easily separated by hand before disposal, which, once separated, can be considered compostable.
Under this standard, packaging is controlled in waste treatment plants, but no account is taken of packaging waste that may end up in uncontrolled environments, i.e. waste.
Biodegradable materials to reduce environmental impact
Working with compostable bags for commerce will help us reduce this negative impact on the environment and that the abandonment of some people is getting worse every day.