This is when a superficial or insincere display of concern for the environment is shown by an organisation. This is often used to conceal or gloss over the environmental damage that is caused. buzzwords can be used to give this impression. Some of these words commonly used are featured below.
Biodegradable means the material is "Eaten" by naturally occurring microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and algae to rpoduce water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. The process of biodegradation is hugely dependant on the environment
This refers to waste or materials that can be processed and used again. This process can also help reduce consumption of fresh raw materials, energy usage, air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from
land filling) by decreasing the need for “conventional” waste disposal.
When something is reusable it can be used more than one time. With regards to packaging, these items are usually made from durable materials and designed for multiple trips or extended life. Plastic containers, woven groceries bags and drink bottles are just a few items that can be re-used.
Composting involves the breakdown of biological material such as green waste from garden clippings of food scraps into humus (soil that comes from dead or decaying plant or animal matter). Currently New Zealand have no standard for compostable plastics.
Cornstarch is the starch derived from corn grains. This is a common food ingredient and has a wide variety of uses such as an adhesive in paper products.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is made from lactic acid, which is usually produced by fermenting sugar or starch from vegetable sources such as corn and then is processed to form a polymer. Products made from PLA include food packaging and coffee cups (which may use PLA for the lid or cup lining). PLA based plastics can be broken down by microbial action.
Degradable means something can “break down” and includes all types of plastic that can break into little pieces, either over time, by mechanical cutting, shredding or from exposure to environmental forces and ultraviolet light (from the sun). Most material will degrade or deteriorate given sufficient time and exposure to the right conditions but in some cases this can take hundreds or thousands of years.
This refers to the process or state of breaking or being broken into fragments. Secondary microplastics are plastics originating from the fragmentation of larger plastic items.
Bamboo is one of the world’s fastest growing plants deriving from the grass family. When harvested Bamboo fibres can be used to create textile-based products such as bags and clothing.
Related to PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) rPET refers to a product being made from recycled PET plastic. This is commonly used on products to display its base materials recycled nature.
A circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.