A strong environmental commitment has led Cortec® Corporation to develop products such as Eco Works® 10 and Eco Works® 45, certified commercially compostable films with 10% and 45% biobased content, respectively. Eco Works® 10 and 45 are ‘OK compost INDUSTRIAL’ certified by TÜV Austria and meet the EN 13432 standard (equivalent to ASTM D6400) for disposal in a commercial composting environment. However, making and buying biobased compostable film is only the first step in achieving a “circular economy”- the rest is up to the user. With
this in mind, Cortec
® offers the following suggestions for getting the most out of Eco Works®.

Where to Use Eco Works®
Eco Works® 10 and 45 are designed to replace traditional low-density and high-density films where standard plastic is used. Eco Works® 10 can also be made into certified commercially compostable bags for packaging, shopping, yard waste, organics recycling, and a variety of other industrial or commercial uses. For example, eco-friendly establishments might want to offer commercially compostable checkout bags as an option for eco-conscious customers. Restaurants and cafeterias are great candidates for organics recycling programs that use commercially compostable bin liners to collect the plentiful food scraps that can be turned into nutrient rich compost. For some companies, the cost of organics waste removal can be lower than fees charged for garbage disposal, incentivizing them to divert as much waste as possible away from the landfill or incinerator using commercially compostable bags.

Do It Right or Not at All
Even though biobased, commercially compostable packaging offers exciting options for returning waste to nature, there are some important steps to make sure this happens. Otherwise, special efforts to act responsibly may be lost.

1. Confirm the availability of industrial composting sites in your area and their acceptance of Eco Works® film or bagsFortunately, composting facilities are on the rise and Eco Works® meets appropriate scientific standards for industrial composting, but local requirements are sometimes tricky, and it is better to be safe than sorry!

2. Check for local grants to launch your organics recycling programThis can be a big boost to get your environmental initiative off the ground.

3. Make sure compostables go in the right bin! Clearly identify composting bins and what can go into them. You can find printable signs online to show restaurant or cafeteria patrons where to put food and compostable packaging waste. Above all, do not use compostable plasticware and bags if you are just going to throw them out in the regular trash! It defeats the purpose of buying compostable items.

4. Educate your customersSome eco-friendly store patrons will know exactly what to do with Eco Works® 10 checkout bags when they see the ‘OK compost INDUSTRIAL’ logo on the side. Others may need more education on how to dispose the bags responsibly. To help, stores may include signs or notes that suggest reusing the bags as organics bin liners (in cities that do organics recycling) or saving them for spring or fall yard cleanup (where commercially compostable bags are mandated for yard waste collection). This could even save patrons the trouble of buying their own!

Bring the ‘Circular Economy’ Full Circle
Cortec® supplies compostable packaging material, but the role of the user in making sure those materials get to the industrial composting site is just as critical in creating a “circular economy.” A little proper planning can help you make the most of the commercially compostable bag technologies available today. Familiarize yourself with the suggestions above—then contact us to get started! https://www.cortecpackaging.com/contact-us/

Keywords: Eco Works, Cortec, certified compostable bags, circular economy, compostable packaging tips, TUV Austria, EN 13432, ASTM D6400, OK compost INDUSTRIAL, biobased compostable film

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