Dissecting the lingo: plastic bags and packaging
These days we’re paying much more attention to our disposable packaging – but how do we know what’s what?
the plastic can be broken down, but only into smaller pieces which stay in our soil and water systems.
when exposed to living organisms, this type of plastic has the ability to break down over time into molecules; the catch is that in New Zealand there’s no time limit on how long this will take and no rules surrounding toxic waste that may be left behind.
this is designed to break down – in a far shorter timeframe than biodegradable packaging – into a substance that supports plant matter. Some brands such as Bostock Brothers are creating home compostable packaging which can be broken down in four to six months in a well looked after home compost (see Side Dishes, page 14).
SO WHAT TO DO?
Try to avoid single-use packaging, take a reusable container for takeaways, carry a keep-cup for coffee, keep cutlery and reusable chopsticks in your glove box and use cloth bags for produce and groceries.