The term “biodegradable” describes a food container that will degrade naturally. Some examples of such containers include bamboo-containing countertop glass jars with bamboo lids, portable plastic-free lunch boxes, and bamboo bread boxes. But plant fiber containers aren’t quite as durable as glass, and they wear out much faster. One type of plant fiber container is rice husk, a low-cost byproduct of rice farming, which has no toxicity and is renewable. Products made of rice husk include sealable lunch boxes and shatterproof serving bowls. If you want to buy biodegradable food containers, I hope this guide will be good.
Composting biodegradable food containers are a great way to lessen the amount of trash going to landfills. However, some food containers contain chemicals called PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl substances, which can persist in the environment after being discarded. These chemicals leach out of the packaging and may accumulate in plants and soil. Unfortunately, the effects on human health aren’t fully understood.
A major advantage of biodegradable food containers is their durability. Unlike other plastic containers, biodegradable materials can be composted, degrading the waste they contain and releasing its energy content into the soil. This process makes biodegradable food containers an excellent option for countries where organic landfill waste is common. However, this method is not sustainable, and the energy inputs used to compost biodegradable plastic cups are lost to the soil.
While there is no denying the environmental benefits of biodegradable food containers, they aren’t cheap. The lidded, white Styrofoam to-go box costs about seven cents per piece, while a biodegradable corn starch cup costs between 15 and twenty cents. These prices aren’t low either, but the savings can be significant and justify the additional cost of compostable containers.
One of the most important considerations for the environmental impact of biodegradable food containers is the breakdown of the packaging. As bioplastics are degradable, they break down into microplastics. These tiny pieces are known to be damaging to the environment and are why biodegradable packaging is being promoted as a more eco-friendly choice. Once biodegradable packaging has decomposed, the plastics are reborn as part of the earth’s organic matter.