Compostables are Not the Alternative. Plastic is.

trash lying in a forest

Compostable packaging is often described as an alternative to plastic. Indeed, at GREEN HOME, we’ve often used this description ourselves over the years.

But, are compostables the real alternative here?

We don’t think so.

Compostable packaging is made from plants. And there is nothing ‘alternative’ about plants.

Plants have been on Earth for hundreds of millions of years. They’re responsible for our oxygen-rich atmosphere. And they turn sunlight into energy to feed the planet. And they do all this while creating habitat and shade and making Earth beautiful. Just your basic, average, superheroes.

Also – crucially – plants are biodegradable. They’ve been successfully living in a circular, waste-free cycle for millions of years.

Plastic, on the other hand, is new to our planet. Made from fossil fuels – coal, oil and fracked gas – it’s only been widely used for the past 70 years. And, of course, it’s intentionally designed to NOT biodegrade.

Because it doesn’t biodegrade, plastic follows a linear, waste-generating life-span. This puts it out of sync with the natural world. And by ignoring the bigger picture, plastic is causing widespread harm.

This is in sharp contrast to the circular, waste-free cycle followed by plants.

Plant materials are aligned with Earth’s natural cycles of growth and decay. They have a proven track record spanning millions of years and are natural and non toxic.

We think this makes them the obvious choice for packaging materials.

Anything else is a poor alternative.

 

 

 

About Cassandra Gamble

Cass is GREEN HOME's Environmental Research & Communications Ambassador.
Her BSc (Hons) degree from the Open University (UK) focused on Environmental Science, plastic pollution and sustainable innovation.
She is dedicated to building waste-free and regenerative systems.