What do you mean by biodegradable? Is it the same as compostable? When any material decomposes with the aid of microbes or through biological means, it is referred to as biodegradable material. While it is often taken synonymously, compostable and biodegradable is not the same. Compostable refers to the process which adds to the fertility of soil.
What is anaerobic and aerobic biodegradation? When the organic matter is broken down by microbes without the aid/presence of oxygen, it is referred to as anaerobic biodegradation and when there is oxygen during the process it is referred to as the aerobic biodegradation.
Will the biodegradation leave any residue toxic to the environment? The Greenerpac bags do not leave toxic residual matter when they decompose into the soil.
What are the available alternatives to plastic bags? Bags made of jute, cotton or biodegradable/compostable materials are the only alternatives that are friendly to the environment. When you are using jute bags, you need to ensure that they do not have a plastic inner lining. There are also non-woven bags, which look similar to cloth bags, used as a wider alternative to plastic bags. But these are not completely eco-friendly. On the contrary, they are 98.3% polypropylene, in other words plastic and non-biodegradable.
How are compostable, biodegradable and oxo- biodegradable different from each other?
Compostable are those which biodegrade, getting converted into water and CO2 leaving no toxic residue behind. They generally biodegrade after their useful life. The end result is compost or humus used to increase fertility of soil.
Biodegradable are those where the degradation happens through microbes naturally found in the soil.
Oxo-degradable are those where the material degrades in the presence of oxygen and is further hastened with heat and UV rays. However if these materials do not have sufficient oxygen, they do not degrade and will continue to stay for many years to come.
Do the Greenerpac bags have the certification for biodegradability? All greenerpac bags are certified biodegradable and compostable according to the US Standard ASTM D 6400, European Standard EN 13432 and Indian Standard IS 17088.
Wouldn’t paper bags be a better alternative? Paper bags production can cost many forests. Nearly 14million trees had to be cut down for making 10billion paper bags in the year 1999 alone. Additionally, the paper bags can also cause more pollution in water and in air (nearly 70%). It is also found that recycling plastic will take 91% lesser energy than paper bag recycling. In order to ensure better elasticity and sturdiness, the paper bags are made of virgin pulp and yet are not as strong as plastic. They cannot be reused many times either and are not suitable in wet conditions or to carry frozen items. Additionally the paper bags need oxygen, light and water in order to degrade which may not always be possible in a landfill and might lie around for a longer period.
How will a company benefit by using biodegradable bags? The cost of procuring biodegradable bags can be availed as CSR activity.
What are non-woven bags and aren’t they a better alternative? Non-woven ( commonly called cloth bags) are in reality Non-woven Polypropylene Bags. They are made of non-biodegradable plastics and main constituent is polypropylene. They pose more harm to the environment and are widely used in plastic banned states, as people are unaware of this fact