Earthcycle Q&A

  1. What is Earthcycle packaging made of?
  2. Is this compostable product safe for my garden?
  3. If I don’t compost at home, can I put Earthcycle packaging in my yard waste collection bin/bag?
  4. Does your product use bleach in its manufacturing process?
  5. Will the product biodegrade if it is sitting on the shelf?
  6. Is your product recyclable?
  7. Why use packaging at all?
  8. If I walk into a grocery store, how will I know which produce is packaged in palm fiber packaging? Will I see Earthcycle’s brand on the package?
  9. How does Earthcycle packaging compare to other eco-responsible packaging?
  10. Your packaging is manufactured overseas. How does this impact your carbon footprint?

Q: What is Earthcycle packaging made of?

Earthcycle packaging is made from tree-free palm fiber, a former biomass waste, leftover after the palm fruit is harvested for oil. See Palm Fiber Packaging for details.

Q: Is the compostable product safe for my garden?

Yes. Earthcycle packaging products have successfully passed compostability tests as per ASTM D6400/D6868, the compostability standard for North America. To meet this standard, the humus that remains after the product breaks down must be able to support plant life and not leave behind heavy metals. In less than 90 days your Earthcycle Packaging will break down into carbon dioxide, water and a natural humus that will make a healthy contribution to the soil. See Composting Your Earthcycle for details.

Q: If I don’t compost at home can I put my Earthcycle packaging in my yard waste collection bin/bag?

Yes. If your municipality or state collection program accepts food packaging, such as pizza boxes in its curbside program, then it will accept Earthcycle. We do recommend to check with your local authorities first.

Q: Does your product use bleach in its manufacturing process?

There is no bleach used in our manufacturing process. The color variations in our products are a result of the use of natural fiber in production.

Q: Will the product biodegrade if it is sitting on the shelf?

No. Earthcycle packaging will not break down without the conditions necessary to make this process happen, which include the presence of heat, micro biotic activity, and moisture.

Q: Is your product recyclable?

Yes. Our product has been tested and proven to be repulpable so it can be recycled in the waste paper stream. We recommend that you check with local authorities first.

Q: Why use packaging at all?

From a food safety and protection perspective, our packaging (in fact most packaging) is highly beneficial. It protects from germs that can transfer from shoppers picking over the produce at retail and from pathogens in the air. In bulk displays, retailers are throwing away anywhere from 15-18% of produce due to it being picked over and damaged. With packaging, there is only 5-8% waste at most. So packaging is not only helpful for our health, but it also assists the retailer with maintenance of product integrity at store shelves.

Q: If I walk into a grocery store, how will I know which produce is packaged in palm fiber packaging? Will I see Earthcycle’s brand on the package?

Yes, on some. We provide labels to our clients and some do use them.

Q: How does Earthcycle packaging compare to other eco-responsible packaging?

Earthcycle packaging is at the time of writing the only pure palm fiber packaging available on the market. In addition to meeting the conventional industry standards, we also voluntarily conduct rigorous third party reviews of our products including ethical sourcing. To see a complete list and description of our certifications and awards, please visit Awards & Certifications.

Our packaging is cost competitive with conventional plastic packaging, PLA and pressed fiber packaging alternatives.

From a durability perspective, Earthcycle packaging provides strength and durability without adding excessive packaging or weight. Long strands of the palm fiber add to tensile strength similar to titanium alloy, producing strong, robust packaging but without the harmful bleach, dyes and chemicals. You can reuse the containers in various applications.

If packaging is necessary, it should be natural packaging that returns to where it came from – the earth – with minimal inputs of water, moisture and sunlight. Earthcycle’s molded palm fiber packaging is certified compostable to the ASTM D6400/D6868 standard. Within 90 days in a backyard composter or city composting facility, the packaging breaks down into healthy, productive humus for the earth.

Q: Your packaging is manufactured overseas. How does this impact your carbon footprint?

The travel portion of any supply chain is minimal and industry transportation averages contribute less than 10% of a product’s carbon footprint. We are in the process of conducting a LCA (life cycle assessment) to determine our impact.