In this guest blog, sustainability specialist Madeleine Loveday at The Cheeky Panda talks about the much discussed terms of “biodegradable” and “compostable”, and how The Cheeky Panda’s products fit both criteria.
Biodegradable, compostable, we hear these terms thrown around a lot these days and although the terms are often used interchangeably, this can be misleading… So what does it all mean?
Here at The Cheeky Panda HQ we get asked about this subject a lot, and with the recent release of our brilliant new baby wipes and last weeks #ZeroWasteWeek we thought it was high time we broke it down. The environmental implications of traditional wipes have lately been a hot topic, particularly their impacts on our waterways. Wet wipes made up more than 90% of the material causing sewer blockages investigated in 2017 by Water UK.
At The Cheeky Panda we believe that wipes are not for flushing, and we recommend that after enjoying our wipes, that they are composted, or disposed of through regular waste streams so that they can biodegrade. Here we explain the key differences between the two terms.
The key feature of this process which distinguishes it from biodegrading is that the composting is a human-controlled process. Furthermore, the breakdown products provide nutrients to the earth; materials decay within a mixture of earth and dead leaves, into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass. The time something takes to decompose depends on the conditions under which it is composted (usually either in a home compost or industrially, by your council via your food waste collection).
Our baby wipes break down over a period of 3-5 weeks.
Whereas, biodegradation is a natural and ungoverned process, which means it can take a much longer time for materials to break down. What’s more, the conditions under which something biodegrades affect how quickly this process takes place. This makes it very difficult to give an estimation to our customers about how long our wipes will take to breakdown if they are disposed of outside a compost waste stream.
Due to their 100% natural composition, our wipes are both compostable and biodegradable. We encourage disposal of wipes in home or industrial compost as best practice. However, we are aware that not everyone has access to composting facilities. If this is the case, have no fear! Our wipes can be placed in municipal household waste streams and if they end up in landfills they will simply break down into natural elements – just over a far longer time period than if they were composted. What we do not condone is not disposing properly of our wipes – pandas don’t litter, and neither should you!
The Cheeky Panda will be at the 7th annual vegan festival VegfestUK London on October 26-27 at Olympia London. Visit their stall CG2 on Level 1 of Olympia Central on both days of the event. (see floor plan here)
The event also includes 320 stalls packed with the latest vegan products, a Vegan Food Village with 25 caterers, a New Vegan Support area for beginners to veganism, a Foodies Stage with live music, the Strength & Endurance area, Cookery Demos, Yoga classes, Lifestyle presentations, Rainbow Yoga for families, The Art of Compassion Project Exhibition, talks on Plant Based Health and Veganic Growing, the Natural Therapy Zone, the Holistic Health Hub, the Mature Zone, plus talks on Animal Rights and Activism, Vegan Activists Support, the VGN News room and the Animal Rebellion summit.
Advance tickets for this event are now available at www.london.vegfest.co.uk/tickets.
Each entry ticket includes further access to all talks, cookery demos, panels and live music at the show.
The organisers of VegfestUK are running a new show Plant Powered Expo next February in the National Hall of Olympia London. This new event celebrates the best of a plant-based way of life with 235 stalls, 12 features and 100 speakers. For more information, visit www.plantpoweredexpo.co.uk