We were so moved by the scenes we watched on Blue Planet II about the terrible consequences of plastic pollution on our marine life, birds and ultimately humans too, that we made it our mission in 2018, to find alternative environmentally-friendly packaging for our handmade dog biscuits.
Even teeny tiny companies like ours leave an environmental footprint and we were determined to minimise the impact of our activities on our planet’s increasingly fragile eco-system.
We didn’t realise when we started our journey to search for the perfect bag to house our handmade dog biscuits, that it would be so difficult…and expensive!
The brief was simple! Our dog biscuits are handmade with love and care. They look great! We want our customers to be able to see what they are buying, so the packaging had to be see-through…and compostable! We want you to be able to put the bag in your garden compost, so that it can be used to help nourish your flower beds in the future.
We contacted loads of specialist packaging companies for their help. Obtained dozens of sample bags. Spoke to several experts. We were told that the concept was still in the very early stages of development, current material wouldn’t work for our biscuits, we wouldn’t be able to effectively heat-seal the bags and that ultimately, the cost of compostable film was about 4 times as much as the polypropylene film used to make our current bags. One company tried making our bags – we would have ordered a huge quantity (for us!!) to try and bring the cost down – but they didn’t work, and the biscuits just burst through the seams!
We were downcast, but we didn’t want to give up! Then one day we found another company after another internet trawl. Samples were obtained. Hmmmm! They weren’t bad! A small supply of bags was ordered to trial. Well…they worked. We could heat-seal the bags. They were see-through. And just about big enough. The only downside is that they don’t easily stand up on their own to display, but that’s our problem to overcome, not yours! So, one small supply turned into another small supply, to test the bags in different situations and so far so good. We have decided to stick with them for the time being. They aren’t 100% perfect, but we’re satisfied that they will do for now and hopefully you will appreciate them too.
The bags we are now using for our handmade dog biscuits are made in the UK from biodegradable cellulose which is derived from renewable…wood pulp!! Yes! Wood pulp! Cellulose is the main structural component of plants and is obtained from wood pulp produced in managed timber plantations.
This biodegradable cellulose has a thin ‘PVdC’ coating which makes them suitable for food grade use and they can also be heat-sealed. In fact, when we heat seal our new compostable bags, there is a slight aroma of burning matches, so we can certainly tell they are made of wood!
The bags are made from cellophane film that has been accredited biodegradable and compostable to ‘BS EN 13432’ and ‘OK Compost Home Standard’. They are also approved for Anaerobic digestion (ISO 15985) and Marine biodegradation ASTM D6691-09. The film has also been tested to ensure that once composted, there are no adverse effects on plant growth.
The bag will start to break down within a few weeks (depending on the ambient conditions of your compost maker). The film specification states that when being composted, the bag must biodegrade to a minimum of 90% within 6 months, although they can often be achieved within 45 days with industrial composting. Home composting will be at a lower temperature and will therefore take longer.
This is what they are designed for, so this is by far the best option.
Council garden waste bin
Just check with your local council to make sure this waste is going for industrial composting.
Food waste bin
Again, it’s a good idea to check what your council is doing with this waste. The bags are suitable for anaerobic digestion or industrial composting, if they will allow you to put them in.
General waste bin
You may not think this is the ideal option for your compostable bag, however, in landfill they will break down to CO2 and water in much the same way as they would in a compost heap.
Recycled paper and card bin
They should not go in with paper for recycling
Recycled plastic bag collection
They should not go in this bin either. Biodegradable and compostable film is made from renewable plant materials, not petrochemicals. It is designed to break down to CO2 and H20, so leaves nothing suitable for recycling unlike tradition plastic bottles.
We post your orders to you in a brown cardboard box which is very strong and can easily be reused. Failing that, the box can also be put in your compost bin or recycled.
The contents of the box is protected on its journey to you, with shredded brown Kraft paper and you've guess it! This can also be recycled!
Even the adhesive tape that we use to secure your box is made from 100% recyclable paper!
Thank you for reading about our compostable packaging journey and we hope you will appreciate the effort we have made. Remember, from small acorns do mighty oaks grow, and we like to think that our teeny weeny business is setting an example to those big corporations who really have no excuse to do nothing! Surely, if we can do it, they can too with their vast resources and enviable buying power!!