Why calcium carbonate is not good for mixing and how it violates compostability norms.
The shift towards sustainability has been a much needed one, however we are still far from solving the world’s waste problem. The quality of our packaging can fill a huge gap in solving this issue, However, it is important to note that regardless of their ability to completely negate the carbon footprint in packaging, biodegradable and compostable alternatives come at a cost that many are still not willing to pay.
Undeniably, practicing true sustainability is an investment towards building a better planet but most businesses are still not prepared to take the plunge. Instead it has become a common practice for establishments to introduce CaCo3 to the mix in order to bring down the cost of raw materials, rendering the process of composting stunted.
The CaCo3 effect
While CaCo3 may seem cost effective, in the long run there is another price to be paid.
Impact on the end product: The presence of CaCo3 in packaging leads to stiffness and makes the raw material resistant to elongation.
Impact on Human Life: Undoubtedly, when overused in packaging CaCo3 eventually makes its way into the human body. From creating hypersensitivity and leading to formation of kidney stones to posting more serious threats like milk alkali syndrome and digoxin toxicity. Other side effects include nausea, flatulence and high calcium levels in the body.
Impact on Plants: When packaging containing high levels of CaCo3 breaks down completely, it changes the soil structure, thus impacting the health of plants. Excessive CaCo3 leads to disruption in iron and PH levels, thus impacting the morphology of the plants. This shows up in a plant in the form of discoloration and dwarfism.
Fulfilling Certification Criteria
In order to be classified as eco friendly packaging, it must meet the bar set for correct CaCo3 mixing which impacts biodegradability, percentage of metal component, plant growth and disintegration.
-Biodegradability: The presence of mineral fillers like CaCo3 in packaging makes the material susceptible to fail the test for biodegradability. Though it eventually breaks down, biodegradation of CaCo3 can take a long time to be achieved.
-Heavy metal test: Another parameter that biodegradable packaging must meet under compostability norms is the heavy metals test. The presence of CaCo3 brings with it some hazardous chemical properties, resulting in not fulfilling certification criteria for biodegradability.
Plant growth: The certification norms also require packaging to pass the Plant Growth test. Owing to its proven harmful effects on plant health, the presence of CaCo3 keeps the packaging from successfully passing the Plant Growth criteria for biodegradability certification.
At Naturtrust our actions have always been backed by research and the insight about the negative impact of CaCo3 has put us on the fast track to only producing superior quality biodegradable packaging made with ethical and safe raw materials, free of CaCo3 mixing.
We have been certified for producing 100% compostable and biodegradable packaging. We lead by example and recognize that while steps towards sustainability can cost higher, it is worth the wellbeing of our planet and our clients in the longer run.