The Importance of Eco-Friendly Coffee Cups
Most of us are aware of the need to lessen our impact on the environment. Small changes can help reduce our day-to-day footprint. Now more than ever, companies and individuals must be accountable for sustainable practice.
For many coffee drinkers, the choice of the cup used to enjoy their favourite beverage is a significant factor, considering the overall volume of landfill and the percentage of it that is made up of discarded food packaging. This is why in 2018 King Carlos Coffee chose to implement biodegradable Eco-Smart coffee lids across its packaging line. The new Eco-Smart lids are 100% Australian made and made from recyclable materials.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Eco-Smart® Biodegrading Technology Our Eco-Smart® additive allows plastic to biodegrade through a series of chemical and biological processes, when introduced to a microbe-rich environment such as a biologically active modern landfill.
Eco-Smart® accelerates the biodegradation of treated plastics by attracting microbes – microscopic organisms vital to the earth’s ecosystem.
These microbes colonise on the surface of the plastic where they secrete acids that break down the polymer chain, allowing them to utilise the carbon backbone of the chain as an energy source.
The difference between Eco-Smart® treated plastic and traditional plastic is that Eco-Smart® creates an opportunity for microbes to use plastic as food.
Are products made with Eco-Smart® certified recyclable?
Currently there are no recognised standard certifications for recyclability. A number of independent laboratories have been provided with samples of plastic made with Eco-Smart®. The tests indicated that EcoSmart® does not affect the recyclability of plastics.
What prevents plastics made with Eco-Smart® from degrading in inventory or on the shelf?
Eco-Smart® treated products must be disposed of or kept in active microbial environments, such as a managed landfill, in order to biodegrade. Warehouse and retail environments do not contain the microbes needed for biodegradation, so plastics treated with Eco-Smart® have an unlimited shelf life.
Plastics treated with Eco-Smart® have an unlimited shelf life and are completely non-toxic
What is the manufacturing process for using additives?
Using the additive in the manufacturing process is easy to do and usually does not require any equipment modification. Eco-Smart® is added via a standard commercial gravimetric hopper, just as you would add a colorant into the extruder feed-throat. Eco-Smart® is usually loaded at 0.7–4% by weight.
Does Eco-Smart® contain microbes?
No. Eco-Smart® is an additive composed of organic compounds that attract microbes when placed into microbe-rich environments, such as managed landfill. There are no enzymes or microbes within the EcoSmart® additive.
Eco-Smart® is a combination of true organic compounds found in the environment.
Does Eco-Smart® contain any heavy metals?
Eco-Smart® does not contain any compounds that would be considered heavy metals, light metals or metal ions. Eco-Smart® is a combination of true organic compounds from oil and other nutrients found in the environment.
Does Eco-Smart® change the physical characteristics of plastic?
There are no noticeable changes to the physical characteristics of plastic such as tensile strength, glass temperature, melting temperature, transition rates, etc.
Does Eco-Smart® affect the plastic’s performance at elevated temperatures?
No. Tensile strength and physical properties are maintained even in elevated temperatures. In temperatures exceeding the normal operating range for a specific resin, Eco-Smart® plastics would experience the same change in properties as the standard untreated plastic.