Seems like every company today is coming out with their own version of the “plant-bottle”. However, it is important to know that not all “bio-based” plastic is biodegradable. There are major differences between compostable, bio-based, biodegradable, and oxo-biodegradable labels (refer to “Green Labels” section of this website).

There is a new material on the market being used in all sorts of products called Ecoflex (tradename) and it comes from Germany. Although this plastic is considered biodegradable, it is made from petroleum (oil) based resin. However, this plastic will biodegrade when immersed in a commercial composting system (according to ASTM D6400 testing standard). On the contrary, when looking at Coca-Cola’s Plant Bottle which is made from  20% renewable materials (i.e. starch), it is not considered biodegradable or compostable…just recyclable. Thus it is important not to get caught up in the marketing of these products and learn to look at the labels and try to understand “why is this biodegradable?” or ask yourself “how much of this product contains renewable materials?”

Look for this label on plastics to see if they are compostable or not.

Want to learn more about all the different types of labels and requirements of them? Go to Eco-savy’s Green Label section by clicking here .

Controversial Additives in Organic Food

Additives in food have been around for thousands of years. The most widely used food additives in North America include sugar, salt and corn syrup. In total, nearly 3000 substances are used as food additives. Another 12,000 find their way into our food supply indirectly, including pesticides!

Many dairy products contain Carageenan. This food  additive is now linked to colon cancer.

Many dairy products contain Carageenan. This food additive is now linked to colon cancer.

With thousands of additives, how do we know which ones are safe? Most of us don’t have hours on end to read all the labels on food products in the grocery store. All products surely contain some form of food additive…even food products known to be “organic”. After all, the organic food industry makes 30-billion-a-year, so tweaking the standards and rules is only fair game for most of the big players.

Recently, one of the largest Organic and Standards Programs in the United States was questioned.[i] As their board started to include more of corporate America’s fortune 500 companies, the ingredients that were becoming acceptable on the list of “certified organic” products became questionable.

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