What makes a good compostable mailer?
Now that we discussed compostable mailers are and their importance, it is also significant to know what makes a top compostable mailer. In this article, we will talk about what qualities and certifications we must look for when choosing a compostable mailer.
As explained in our previous article, compostable mailers are a sustainable packaging alternative to traditional plastic mailers. They are made from a combination of PBAT and corn starch and are 100% compostable. At the end of its life, they do not pollute the ocean or turn into microplastics. Instead, they turn into hummus-like material, more commonly known as black gold that nourishes the soil. Generally, composting has been used for centuries and is a natural fertilizer to farms, gardens, agriculture, and the like. Though compostable mailers are compostable, they are just as durable, waterproof, and sturdy as plastic mailer bags.
What makes a good Compostable Mailer?
Switching to compostable mailers for your business truly help keep the seas clear from plastic, lessen carbon foot print, and ultimately preserve and protect the environment. To help you make informed choices, we have gathered five qualities that make a good Compostable Mailer.
100% Truthfully Compostable
The first quality to look for in a compostable mailer is that it must be 100% truthfully compostable. There is a difference between compostable and biodegradable which many people mistaken for the same thing. We have explained the difference in our previous posts here. It must have gone through rigorous testing and research to ensure that it can compost at home using a compost bin or in a commercial compost. In a backyard compost, compostable packaging is expected to break down within 4-8 months. While in an industrial composting facility, it is expected to disintegrate within 3 months. This is completely faster compared to the years it would take for traditional plastic shipping materials to break down.
Strong and Durable
The strength and durability of packaging material are of great consideration since it serves as the first layer of protection to valuable items. It must keep the product safe during shipping from storage to your customers. This is why you would want to make sure that the compostable mailer is constructed with the right size of thickness that makes them tear and puncture-resistant while still making it compostable.
The last thing customers want is to receive their products wet and damaged. Thankfully, compostable mailers are water-resistant and do not dissolve in water, unlike other eco friendly packaging. So if you see a compostable mailer that disintegrates in water or damages the contents of the parcel, those are not the compostable mailers for you.
Thinking in excess and living in a wasteful, single-use culture can stop when we become aware of the resources we use and their implications to the environment. This is why even if compostable mailers are a type of sustainable packaging material that is naturally less harmful to the environment, it is best that it comes with a reusable feature before putting it into the compost pile.
Tested and Certified by Composting Authoritative Bodies
Last but not the least, being certified by international authoritative bodies is a significant aspect to look for in a compostable mailer. In the US, commercially compostable products are tested through the American Society for Testing and Materials or better known as ASTM. They are tested under their ASTM 6400 criteria which is known as the Standard Specification for the Labeling of Plastics Designed to be Aerobically Composted in Municipal or Industrial Facilities. Its European counterpart, on the other hand, is the EN13432. This test requires the compostable product a timeframe in which both disintegration (physical breakdown) and biodegradation/compost production (chemical breakdown) must occur in 180 days and that the final product is of no harm to the surrounding ecosystem (ie: is non-toxic).
For home-compostable products, a known test is the AS 5810 which is entitled as Biodegradable plastics suitable for home composting. This test is based in Australia which requires disintegration of compostable products in 6 months, and biodegradation and compost formation in a year. Its European certification equivalent, on the other hand, is the OK compost HOME certification provided by NFT 51800 from France and prEN 17427-TUV Austria.
After passing the test, they must get a certification from 3rd-party organizations. A well-known organization for certifying compostable products are Biodegradable Products Institute or BPI, TUV Austria, and OK compost INDUSTRIAL. Thus, when choosing a compostable mailer, it is best to look for these certifications.
minliving Compostable Mailers
If you are looking for compostable mailers that have these five qualities, you can check out minliving Compostable mailers. minliving Compostable mailers are made from a combination of corn starch and PBAT and are 100% home compostable. They have been tested and met the ASTM 6400 and EN13432 standards. These sustainable mailers are made with the right thickness size to ensure compostability while retaining their strength and durability. It is water, tear, and puncture-resistant. Lastly, what is great about minliving compostable mailers is that they are designed with TWO adhesive strips - one for initial use and the other additional strip of tape (closest to the opening) for future use.
If you are interested to learn more, check out our website here.
Knowledge creates informed choices.
Compostable mailers provide a modern solution to the age-old problem of plastic waste. It is an innovation that benefits not only the business and the consumer but also the environment. However, to become informed business owners and consumers, we must educate ourselves with the qualifications, tests, and certifications required for compostable mailers. This helps us to make informed choices when it comes to eco friendly packaging.