GC Compostable Label
14 Things to know about Bioplastics and the GC Compostable label
Today, a new generation of customers can help the environment by using bioplastic products, being sure to discard them in the right bins. The bioplastic waste can then biodegrade with no negative effects.
1. The difference between degradable, compostable, and OXO biodegradable plastics
Degradable plastics are plastics that compost in the environment such as from sunlight, oxygen, humidity, or microbes. The degradable plastics include many types such as compostable and OXO biodegradable plastics.
Compostable plastics are plastics that compost through a biodegradable process into carbon dioxide, water, organic compounds, and biomass leaving no visible plastic or no toxic residue. The compostable plastics must have a compostable rate comparable to cellulose (ISO 17088). Compostable plastics should be placed either in landfill or a compost pile in line with proper plastic waste management practices.
OXO-Biodegradable plastics are plastics that contain pro-degradant additives, such as metal salts, which accelerate their breakdown when exposed to sunlight, UV or heat, and remain in the environment. They are also referred to as Environmentally Degradable Plastic (EDP).
2. In terms of biodegradability, what does ‘optimal conditions’ mean?
Biodegradability under optimal conditions refers to microorganisms that work effectively, such as the process of compost piles or biodegradable waste buried in soil. The biodegradability will be slow or fast depending on different factors such as temperature, humidity, quantity of microorganisms, as well as the size and thickness of the product.
3. Do bioplastics leave contaminated microplastics when they decompose?
No microplastics are left because the molecules of bioplastics decompose and become biomass, water, and carbon dioxide.
4. Which countries certify the GC Compostable Label? And what specifications are certified?
The label identifies a product or packaging produced from compostable plastic. A product or packaging with the GC Compostable Label shows that the material is produced and certified by GC Group. GC’s bioplastic resin is certified under the following national and international standards:
- United States standard - ASTM D6400
- European standard - En 13432
- International standard - ISO 17088
5. Are compostable plastics safe for animals to eat?
Animals should not be eating unknown objects that can be potentially harmful - whether natural or plastic materials. However compostable plastic biodegrades more quickly than conventional plastics, thereby reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment.
6. Can a public campaign promoting the use of bioplastics help address the problem sustainably? If so, how?
There are several types of plastic and they are all designed to be used appropriately. Likewise, bioplastic packaging is preferable to single-use plastics such as food packaging. Bioplastics naturally biodegrade more quickly than conventional plastics, thereby reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment.
7. Can using PLA (bioplastic) instead of PET bottles become problematic when recycling PET, since both bottles look the same? Does the company have any solutions?
Currently, most bottled water is made from PET plastic which is easy to distinguish. This has resulted in an increase in the recycling rate for PET bottles by 80-90%. Some people are concerned that the recycling of PET plastic could be disturbed when using PLA for producing water bottles.
Because it’s not easy to distinguish PLA from PET, GC decided to launch the “GC Compostable Label” to be shown on products certifying that they use compostable bioplastic resin from GC Group. The GC Compostable Label is a way to increase consumer confidence by clearly showing that the product is biodegradable, facilitating separation and sorting from conventional plastics.
Using GC Compostable to produce biodegradable products will help consumers understand the quality of the compostable products and how they are different from conventional plastics and can then separate them accurately.
8. Where can we buy bioplastic products, such as straws? Can you provide any contact information?
For bioplastic products for purchase by retailers, including drinking straws certified with the GC Compostable Label, please contact:
9. Are they 100% compostable?
Products made from bioplastic resin are compostable and will break down into biomass, water and carbon dioxide under optimal conditions, such as when left in a pile of compost or in soil. No toxic residues are left in the environment.
10. Are PLA and PBS plastics compostable?
PLA and PBS plastics are tested under conditions in line with the ASTM D6400, EN 13432 and ISO 17088 standards. The tests show that they biodegrade into water, carbon dioxide and biomass, and that no residues are left in the environment.
11. How long does it take to decompose?
The tests, under controlled conditions at 55-60°C, are in line with the ASTM D6400, EN 13432 and ISO 17088 standards. The PLA and PBS plastics biodegraded within six months into water, carbon dioxide and biomass, and no residues were left in the environment.
However, when testing without standard controls, such as burying PLA and PBS plastics in the soil, or leaving it in a pile or compost, the biodegradation process can take from 6-24 months depending on the temperature, humidity as well as size and thickness of the material.
12. Is packaging with the GC Compostable Label considered food contact grade?
GC compostable bioplastic resin is available in both food contact grade and general grade, giving customers’ increased options.
13. Pricing of bioplastic products
Products certified with the GC Compostable Label are made from bioplastic which is compostable. Though more expensive than petroleum-based plastics, they are more environmentally-friendly providing added-value.
14. Do any brands currently use GC’s bioplastic resin with the GC Compostable label?
Café Amazon has used packaging certified with the GC Compostable Label, including hot cups and drinking straws. Other brands, such as AIS, plan to use the GC Compostable Label product in the near future.
GC Compostable product label
GC is committed to developing products that are environmentally friendly and compostable. The Compostability is base on the standard of ASTM D6400, EN 13432 or ISO 17088
To promote increased awareness among consumers and create a positive brand image for GC's customers (including convertors and brand owners) that use GC's raw material products with their high standards, produce bioplastics product
GC created a label certifying that the manufacturers’ products and packaging use compostable bioplastics pellets from GC Group. “GC Compostable Label
This demonstrates a commitment to developing environmentally-friendly products, builds confidence, and highlights innovation, which can increase the value of the product or packaging.
These labels are for the exclusive use of GC’s end manufacturers to help communicate the benefits of their products and packaging in the market, as well as for other marketing communications purposes. This can support their marketing goals