Sustainability & Environment
Are We There Yet?
It is the goal and desire of PBi to supply packaging that makes the world a better place to live without depleting it of irreplaceable natural resources. That’s how we define sustainable packaging and we feel we owe it to future generations to strive toward this.
Where Are We Now?
PBi has an exciting development called Biotre that we believe moves us towards the goal in a real way. We have made the investment to bring this product to the market and we hope package users will make the investment to purchase and use it (more on that below). But it may not be for everyone. If that is the case, we believe our standard plastic/foil laminates make wise use of resources and they make the world a better place to live by allowing the delivery of fresh, unspoiled beverages, food, nutrition, industrial products et al. Here are some facts about standard plastic/foil laminate packaging’s use of natural resources.
- It can be, and usually is, made from natural gas. Compared to other fossil fuels, most experts agree we have a relatively good supply of natural gas.
- Of all the natural gas used in a year, less than 4% of it is needed to make all of the plastic/foil packaging material in the United States
- From cradle to grave it uses less non-renewable resources than any other packaging. You could save enough fossil fuel to account for all of the material in one PBi 12-16 oz stock bag plus all of the energy needed to process the bag from cradle to grave if you:
- — cooked 14 minutes less in an electric oven at 350° F
- — turned off your desktop computer and monitor for 1-2 hrs
- — drove 0.6 less miles in a high mileage (50 mpg) hybrid car
From cradle to grave, it generates less greenhouse gasses than any other package. If you plant one tree, it will offset enough carbon to use 300 PBi 12-16 oz stock bags per year.
We do not take any of the above as reasons to relax our efforts towards true sustainability, but using PBi’s packaging minimizes impact on the environment while we work towards the ultimate goal. And that goal is closer than ever with PBi’s Biotre product.
Getting Closer With PBi Biotre
PBi Biotre Film was launched in 2011 and has been winning awards since. It is a combination of renewable, biodegradable materials with accelerated-degradation polymer.
Compared to a standard plastic/foil laminate which is made form 100% non-renewable fossil fuels and is not considered biodegradable, Biotre is made from up to 60% by weight of materials that are made from renewable wood pulp and certified to the Industrial Composting norms, EN13432 and ASTM D6400, and to OK Compost’s Home Composting Standard. Internal studies in moist, managed home compost have shown a degradation time of 90 days.
The remaining clear polymer makes up 40% of the Biotre package by weight. It is designed to break down in five to ten years in a landfill environment; much more quickly than typical plastics, thus reducing the solid waste impact of Biotre.
The images to the right (top to bottom) show Biotre film after 40 days in the composter, and Biotre film after 89 days.
With the help of some of our coffee roaster friends, we have verified that Biotre effectively preserves and protects sensitive products like coffee. In this way, we are able to meet our allied goal of bringing value to the table and making the world a better place in addition to providing a more sustainable package.
To see our Biotre videos on YouTube, click on the following links: