We are always looking for ways we can make our business practices more sustainable while keeping things cost effective. As such, we’re currently trialling the use of HeroPacks as packaging for the shipping of non-fragile items.
We’ve included some information about this below, and you can find out more (and buy them yourself if you want to) at heropackaging.com.au.
Note: this is not a paid affiliation, we don’t get any discounts or benefits from promoting HeroPacks. We just want to keep doing out bit for the planet.
HeroPacks are compostable packaging made from corn starch and PBAT which are fully compostable in 90-120 days.
While the cornstarch comes from renewable sources, unfortunately PBAT does not – but its the best we have at the moment until researchers find something better.
HeroPacks are best disposed of in home or commercial composting systems. They will still break down completely in landfill, but due to the nature of landfill it takes 8x as long and contributes to methane in the atmosphere.
The difference between compostable and biodegradable is that biodegradable products simply break down into smaller micro-plastics which still contaminate the environment. Certified home-compostable products break down as if they were never there, and can also be safely eaten by worms.
Therefore, a compostable product is always more preferable over a biodegradable product.
The HeroPack mailers have the following Australian certifications: Home Compostable (AS5810) and Commercially Compostable (AS4736)
So you've received compostable packaging, what next?
1. If possible, re-use them!
Most orders we send in reusable packaging will have a spare adhesive strip. If you’ve cut along the dotted line to open, you can re-use to send your own parcels by removing & recycling the white paper strip and sealing it again.
2. Compost them at home, at a friends, or find a local composter who can take it off your hands.
If anyone you know runs a home composting system, simply remove anything non-compostable (e.g. the white adhesive strip, sticky tape, stickers) and throw them in. In home composters, it can take around 120 days to break down completely. Find someone local with a composter here.
3. Send it to an industrial composting business.
Firstly remove anything non-compostable (e.g. the white adhesive strip, sticky tape, stickers). If you or someone you know has a council greens bin, the mailer can be thrown straight in there. If not, you can find industrial composting businesses here. It might be worth saving up a few of these compostable items or collaborating with friends to take a trip to one.
Composticky Tape™ from Hero Packaging – in use as of 23 October 2020!
While using the HeroPack mailers decreases the amount of tape we use on each order, we still use tape to apply the paper label & will continue to use tape for orders that must be packed in cardboard boxes.
It’s made from cornstarch and a natural rubber adhesive, but currently only holds industrial composting certifications: OK COMPOST INDUSTRIAL (TUV), EN 13432, ASTM D 6400-04
Compostable sticky labels are something that’s were still waiting to be perfected a little. Pictured are some inkjet labels from Better Packaging Co but at time of posting these aren’t available in Australia yet, and the current compostable thermal labels available don’t work with our printer.
Labels and stickers are currently in a “watch this space” situation, but hopefully soon these items will be readily available for businesses like us to use.