Eco-friendly Gifts: Compostable Items In Our Festival Survival Kits
One of our favourite gifts from our range, has to be our Eco Festival Survival Kit.
We love festivals, and designed our Festival Kits to be a positive influence on minimizing plastic waste at festivals.
Comprising of many individual plastic free, biodegradable and eco-friendly gifts, this Festival Survival Kit is perfect for the festival lover in your life.
We're going to talk about the compostable items in the kit, and explain why we love compostable alternatives to single use plastic.
Compostable Eco-Friendly Gifts?
In our Festival Survival Kit, we have several items that are fully biodegradable and compostable. These items include Compostable Plates, Cutlery, Cups and Ponchos.
Every compostable item is designed to get you through the festival easily and happily, and keep hunger and thirst at bay.
Let's start with our Compostable Ponchos.
Our fully Compostable Ponchos are made from bioplastic.
Bioplastic is a great alternative to traditional plastic. The particular type of bioplastic used in our biodegradable ponchos is made from starch compound.
A quick statement: All compostable materials are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable materials are compostable.
As our Ponchos are compostable, they are biodegradable as well.
Biodegradable Vs Compostable
Let's see the definition for biodegradable, and then the definition of compostable to explain the two terms.
If a material is biodegradable, it will:
"Break down into CO2, biomass and water, with the aid of microorganisms."
If a material is compostable, it will:
"Biodegrade within a set time frame, under set conditions, to form compost".
The two terms are often used interchangeably, and incorrectly, in marketing for green products.
Due to our Ponchos being industrially compostable, they won't break down within a reasonable time frame in a home compost bin. That's why we have developed LFHP Zero.
Disposing Of Our Compostable Eco-Friendly Gifts
With our revolutionary scheme, all compostable items in the Eco Festival Kit can be fully composted for free.
We have partnered up with an industrial composting facility, to ensure that any compostable waste sent back to us using LFHP Zero will be fully composted.
This means zero waste goes to landfill.
Simply put the used compostable goods in the prepacked mailing bag, and send it to us after the festival has finished.
Within the near future, we will be delivering our Deluxe Eco Festival Kits directly to festivals. This means we will be able to accept your used compostable waste over the course of the weekend, and we will do the rest to ensure they are fully composted.
LFHP Zero applies to any of the compostable items in the Survival Kit. This includes our Compostable Cups, Plates and Cutlery, as well as our Ponchos.
Why Do We Love Our Compostable Eco-Friendly Gifts?
There are many reasons as to why we prefer bioplastic to conventional plastic. For now, we've picked three reasons that depict why we choose bioplastic over conventional fossil fuel based plastic.
The production of conventional plastic involves mining crude oil, the key component in standard plastic.
Oil is a non-renewable resource, which means it is completely unsustainable, and will eventually run out.
Some predict the day which oil runs out will be in our lifetime. In contrast, the production of bioplastic is far more sustainable.
With the main raw materials for our ponchos being renewable, bioplastic is a far better option when it comes to sustainability.
Following on from the last point, the specific ways in which crude oil is mined actively presents dangers to the immediate environment.
Oil spills are not uncommon, and when oil rigs off shore catch fire and explode, the damage caused to the marine environment is shocking. One of the worst disasters from an offshore oil rig was the Deepwater Horizon.
The catastrophe devastated marine life, as well as killing workers on the rig.
Bioplastic is far closer to being carbon neutral than normal plastic. When bioplastic breaks down, it can only theoretically release the same amount of carbon that was taken in by the plants, used to produce the bioplastic, when they were growing.
Why Do We Make Our Eco Festival Survival Kits?
We are avid festival lovers here at LFHP. The idea came about from seeing all the plastic waste left over at festivals, year after year. We wanted to do something about it, which is when the idea was born.
A huge amount of plastic waste, left at festivals we went to, consisted of single use items like cups, plates, cutlery etc. More obviously, tents were left a plenty, which are also plastic.
We knew that for in order to reduce plastic waste at festivals, a systematic, scalable waste processing solution needed to be implemented. This is along with providing sustainable products in place of their plastic counterparts, to make up the Festival Kits.
We then researched hard for many weeks and months, in order to develop our Eco Festival Survival Kits. Every item in there is a plastic free, or minimal plastic alternative, to items commonly used at festivals.
As mentioned before, we also developed LFHP Zero to partner with our compostable items. As well as providing plastic free, compostable alternatives, we also wanted to guarantee zero waste would go to landfill.
It's all well and good cutting down on plastic at festivals, but if a load of compostable waste still goes to landfill after the event has finished, is it any better?
In terms of the production processes required to produce compostable bioplastic, relative to fossil based plastic, the answer is yes. Lower carbon emissions as well as using renewable materials, means that we definitively choose our bioplastic items over conventional plastic items.
But What Happens To Bioplastic In Landfill?
We are going to use PLA (polylactic acid) as the example for a compostable bioplastic, and is what many of our compostable items in the Festival Survival Kit are made from.
Landfills are often capped, which means they are anaerobic (no oxygen is present). In this environment, both because of the capping and high density of waste, the necessary microorganisms required for biodegradation are not guaranteed to be present.
This means that any item made of PLA will be unlikely to biodegrade in an anaerobic landfill, as is the same with any biodegradable material including paper and food waste.
If PLA ends up in an aerobic landfill (when oxygen is present), then it would biodegrade at a similar rate to other biodegradable materials.
A myth often talked about with regards to PLA in landfill, is that when it breaks down huge amounts of methane will be released.
This is not true.
PLA does not produce any significant amount of methane when it breaks down in anaerobic landfills, due to there not being enough microorganisms to break PLA down.
The following statement is taken from a scientifically published paper entitled:
"Assessment of anaerobic degradation of Ingeo polylactides under accelerated landfill conditions."
In their research, the authors of the paper created landfill conditions. They then assessed how PLA acted in those created landfill settings.
"We conclude that semicrystalline PLA (typical of >96 wt% of resin used to manufacture products), under anaerobic biological conditions typical of a landfill at moderate temperatures (where PLA hydrolysis is slow), will not lead to significant generation of methane, and that no significant population of organisms is available under anaerobic conditions to directly degrade high molecular weight PLA."
So to surmise, PLA in landfill will:
- Biodegrade at a similar rate to other biodegradable materials, if the environmental conditions are aerobic (with oxygen present).
- Remain inert, and not release methane, in anaerobic landfill conditions (without oxygen present).
Let's compare how PLA acts in landfill with conventional non biodegradable fossil based plastic. This video gives a concise, accurate depiction of what happens to plastic in landfill, as well as in the natural environment.
Key points to take away, regarding non biodegradable fossil based plastic in landfill, are:
- Plastic in landfill is condensed and compacted by other waste, both plastic and non plastic.
- Rain water pours into landfill, and absorbs the water soluble compounds present in the mass of plastic waste. Some of these compounds are highly toxic.
- Leachate is generated from this combination of water soluble compounds, and rain water. Leachate can move into groundwater, soil and streams surrounding the landfill.
- In the natural environment, leachate can be extremely harmful to wildlife.
- A plastic water bottle could take up to 1,000 years to decompose, all the time contributing to leachate production.
In short, no matter the waste that ends up in landfill, using landfill as an end of life option is not sustainable. We would consider that PLA in landfill is slightly better in landfill overall, but it is not a first choice solution by any means.
We only have a finite amount of space, and landfills around the world are quickly filling up. This is why creating a closed loop process for composting PLA is so important, and why we developed LFHP Zero.
The potential for LFHP Zero at festivals is, for us at least, hugely exciting! If every item is made from compostable bioplastic, then there is no reason why there has to be any waste at all going to landfill after the festival has finished - that's the premise we have based our Eco Festival Kits on.
Eco Festival Kits: In Summary
With this blog, we've hopefully given you an insight into our Festival Survival Kits and what alternatives we are using to reduce plastic waste.
Environmentally Friendly Gifts
When creating each and every one of our environmentally friendly gifts, huge thought went into finding creative alternatives to single use plastic in the gifts themselves, and the packaging they come in.
With every order, our range of environmentally friendly gifts sets out to bring joy to the recipient, at no extra cost to the environment that we live in.
If you would like to read more about how we are cutting down plastic waste at festivals, feel free to subscribe to our email list at the bottom of the page.