We have compiled a list of our most asked questions regarding our products and our business. But if you have a question that does not appear here, please do not hesitate to contact us. (We will then update this section with your question).
Q. What is a ‘compostable’ product?
If a product is compostable, it is capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a composting machine/site. After a short period of time (typically 9-12 weeks) the product will break down into compost. It will also produce carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass.
Q. What’s the difference between ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’?
These terms are often confused and the following offers an explanation:
The term ‘Biodegradable’ can be used for literally anything. Everything around us is biodegradable – From the shoes on our feet to a takeaway plastic container. This term often confuses consumers because “biodegradable” only means that the material will ‘eventually break down naturally over a period of time.’ This period of time can be extremely uncertain – It could take one year, 20 years, or 2000 years.
The term ‘compostable’ on the other hand, can only be used if an item can biodegrade in less than 12 weeks. For an item to be ‘compostable’ it has certain scientific standards it must adhere to. Essentially it must be able to break down within the 12-week time frame so that it can be organically recycled together with food waste.
Q. What are the ‘scientific standards’ that a compostable product must adhere to?
‘Compostable’ has a definition controlled by the scientific standards EN13432 (European Standards) & ASTM 6400 (American Standards). For something to be compostable it must have:
- Biodegradability: 60 – 90% of the product must break down within a 180 day period.
- Disintegration: 90% of the product must break down into tiny pieces. (2mm in size or less.)
- Eco-Toxidity: When the product breaks down in a commercial composting facility it must not leave heavy metals that are toxic to the soil.
Q. How do I know your products are ‘the real deal?’
All of Down2Earth’s products and packaging are certified compostable, and comply with European standards.
The following bodies have independently certified that our products can break down in under 12 weeks:
We are also members of CRE – The Composting Association of Ireland, and we are committed to supplying genuinely compostable products.
Q. Why should I use compostable products?
It is widely accepted that landfill does not offer a viable long-term solution to dealing with the large amounts of waste we generate. Using compostable catering disposables/food packaging goes a long way to addressing these issues, as it helps divert waste from already overcrowded landfills. Compostable products offer a low carbon, low impact, low waste alternative to their oil-based equivalents. Learn more about our products.
Q. How would my catering/food business benefit from switching to Down2Earth’s compostable products?
Aside from the environmental benefits, in the current climate, the business case for switching to environmentally sustainable practices cannot be underestimated.
Included in the business benefits are:
- Enhanced brand perception and customer loyalty through the display of eco-responsibility.
- Differentiation from competitors.
- Increased value of product offering.
- Superb marketing/PR opportunities through the Down2Earth website and social media presence.
Q. Where can I find out about my nearest commercial composting site?
Down2Earth are a member of Cre – The Composting Association of Ireland. On the Down2Earth website we have listed all the commercial composting sites in Ireland. You can also contact cre through their own site www.cre.ie to find out more information regarding composting and food waste management.
Q. Does the shelf life of these products differ from other food packaging / products?
No, it does not differ – The shelf life of these products is the same as any other packaging, once stored in a cool, dry area off the floor.
Q. How long does it take to have the products delivered?
As long as the item is in stock, we have a convenient next-day-delivery system. If the item is not in stock it takes 7-10 days.
Q. Can compostable products still look slick and stylish?
Yes of course! We offer customized printing on many of our products. We have designers ‘at the ready’ so that businesses can effectively carry their brand through a range of our compostable products. This means that they are not only helping the environment, but also look great! Many of our customers use our ‘custom printed cups’ as an effective way to market their business brand to their target audience.
Q. What is the minimum quantity order for Custom Printer Cups.
The minimum order for custom printed cups is 1000 Double Wall cups. Learn more about our services.
Q. What is the process of getting custom cups printed?
We have graphic designers to help you design a cup that suits your brand. Once you are happy with it, we can get a mock-up done of the cup so you can be certain it is exactly what you want. If you want anything altered or changed, that is no problem, and if you are happy to go ahead with production, we will arrange it. Learn more about our services.
2 -3 weeks later you will have your custom printed cups ready to go!