Omnidegradable? So you’ve heard of biodegradable, compostable, and of course recyclable but what the heck is this omni – degradable? To put it bluntly, Omnidegradable means that the packaging will break down in any environment it is put into.
Ok- but wait, before we get ahead of ourselves, what do biodegradable, recyclable and compostable mean?
Recyclable refers to when, in our case, a product can be used again or returned to a previous stage in a cyclic process.
Compostable materials are similar to biodegradable materials, as they are both intended to return to the earth safely. However, compostable materials go one step further by providing the earth with nutrients once the material has completely broken down.
Biodegradable refers to the ability of materials to break down and return to nature. In order for packaging products or materials to qualify as biodegradable, they must completely break down and decompose into natural elements within a short time after disposal – typically a year or less. This is a huge deal when it comes to landfills and reducing the buildup of waste while creating a safer, cleaner and healthier environment.
So, back to Omnidegradable. Omnidegradable is an all encompassing term. It is biodegradable, it is recyclable and under the correct circumstances, it is compostable. With Omnidegradable materials, all that it requires to decompose is microbes. This differs from other bio-based and environmentally friendly packaging that require a bit more effort and input, such as heat, pressure and moisture.
Our wonderfully omnidegradable bags are produced by TekPak, a highly innovative Canadian based company. Their goal is to offer consumers a packaging alternative that won’t impact our environment negatively.
If you’re wondering, “hey now, what’s the actual science behind this?” We’ve got you covered. According to TekPak, there is an organic additive in their packaging that attracts microbes in order to create an enzyme that can break the long-chain molecules in plastic into pieces small enough for the microbes to consume completely, thereby reverting to their original elements. They leave behind only water, CO 2, and a small amount of Organic biomass, all beneficial to plant growth. “Our products do not depend on water, heat, sunlight or oxygen to degrade. They only rely on ever- present microbes in soil or water. This is why we call it Omnidegradable ®.”
So, we think that is pretty great! Especially considering the alarming amount of waste our planet continuously accumulates. (We’re not pointing figures here, just saying isn’t time we try to do something about it?)
According to the University of California, Santa Barbara, 10 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans annually and over 40% of all plastic produced is for single-use purpose! This meaning that nearly half of the plastics we use in our daily life are utilized ONCE and then thrown away. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation states that at the rate we are going, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050. Thats not cool!
When it comes to backpacking and trash, we (hopefully) all know that we should “pack it out”. We care about the beautiful places we are exploring. But once out, the majority of our waste is still ending up right in a landfill or being swept into an ocean. And to us, that seems a bit wack.
With omnidegradable packaging, we here at Farm to Summit, are hoping we can make a positive impact on a broken system. No matter what your love for the outdoors, our planet, and the environment may look like we hope that omnidegradable packaging will help you rest easy in knowing we’re doing our best.