Beyond Recycled

In the past, recycling was a buzzword when it came to sustainable living. Over the past decade though, it’s come to light that recycling has not been as effective as we believed.

The rise of harmful chemicals like PFAs and BPAs in our daily lives, microplastics found in rain clouds, and forever chemicals have raised concerns about the impact of petroleum-based plastics on our health and the environment.

We need to go beyond the mindset of recycling and push towards a future of biodegradable and compostable options.

Limitations of Recycling

Recycling has long been touted as a solution to reduce waste and conserve resources. However, several limitations hinder its effectiveness:

    • Contamination and Sorting Challenges with Recycling

      When different materials are mixed together in recycling bins, it becomes challenging to separate them effectively. Contamination can render entire batches of recyclables non-recyclable, which defeats the purpose of recycling.

    • Lack of Proper Recycling Infrastructure

      Another significant challenge is the lack of proper recycling infrastructure. Many regions still do not have efficient recycling facilities, resulting in recyclable materials ending up in landfills and oceans instead. This lack of infrastructure hampers the effectiveness of recycling efforts.

    • Low Demand for Recycled Products

      Recycling relies heavily on the demand for recycled materials. Unfortunately, the demand for such products is often lower than needed to sustain recycling efforts.

Dangers of PFAS and BPAs

PFAS and BPAs – Going Plastic Free

PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances) and BPAs (bisphenol A) are synthetic chemicals commonly found in everyday items like food packaging, water bottles, and household products. While their widespread use has raised concerns due to their potential impact on human health and the environment, recycling alone cannot address this issue effectively.

PFAS have been linked to various health risks, including hormonal disruptions, liver damage, and even cancer. These chemicals have been found to persist in the environment for decades, accumulating in our bodies through food and water consumption.

BPAs are known endocrine disruptors that can mimic estrogen in the body, potentially leading to reproductive disorders in humans and wildlife. Additionally, BPAs have been found to leach into soil and water, contaminating ecosystems and posing a threat to aquatic life.

Biodegradable & Compostable Options

The Need for Biodegradable Options

To truly address the problems associated with recycling and the harmful impact of PFAs and BPAs, we must explore alternative solutions such as biodegradable materials that break down naturally over time.

Biodegradable materials are substances that can be broken down by microorganisms into natural elements like water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. These materials offer a more sustainable alternative to traditional plastics and other non-biodegradable products.

Advantages of Biodegradable Materials

    • Reduced Environmental Impact

      Biodegradable materials break down naturally without leaving behind harmful residues or contributing to plastic pollution.

    • Renewable Resources

      Many biodegradable materials are derived from renewable resources such as plant-based polymers, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

    • Soil Enrichment

      When biodegradable materials decompose, they release valuable nutrients into the soil, enriching it for future plant growth.

    Compostable Options for a Greener Future

    Compostable materials take sustainability a step further by not only breaking down naturally but also providing valuable nutrients to the soil through composting.

    Compostable materials are similar to biodegradable materials but have an additional requirement – they must break down within a specific timeframe under controlled composting conditions. This process yields nutrient-rich compost that can be used to enhance soil quality.


    Benefits of Compostable Materials

      • Closing the Loop

        Compostable materials complete the circle of sustainability by returning nutrients back to the earth instead of ending up in landfills or oceans.

      • Reduced Waste

        Composting reduces the amount of organic waste that would otherwise contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in landfills.

      • Soil Restoration

        The use of compost improves soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability, leading to healthier plants and ecosystems.

    Promoting Biodegradable and

    Compostable Alternatives

    To encourage the widespread adoption of biodegradable and compostable options, various stakeholders need to take action:

      • Government Initiatives and Policies

        Governments can play a vital role by implementing policies that support the production, use, and proper disposal of biodegradable and compostable materials. Tax incentives or regulations mandating their use in specific industries can help drive change.

      • Industry Innovations

        At Emerald Ecovations, we invest in research and development to create innovative biodegradable and compostable alternatives to replace traditional non-biodegradable products. Collaboration between industries can also spur advancements in sustainable materials.