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                             EARTH STARCH – THE FACTS


 What is an Earth Starch bag made from?
Earth Starch 100% Compostable bags are made from a blend of
      PBAT (polybutelene Andipate Terephthalate)
      PLA (Polylactic Acid)
      These ingredients together create a material with strength, shape and compostability
 Will my Earth Starch bag compost at home?
Earth Starch 100% Compostable bags are certified ‘Home Compostable’ according to the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) certification AS5810-2010. To achieve this certification the material must be able to fully compost in ambient temperatures typical of compost systems at home.
 How long will it take for my Earth Starch bag to compost?
In a home composting environment or buried in the garden, the certification requirement is for the material to be 90% composted within a 90 day period. We have tested the Earth Starch bags in New Zealand and found after a short 13 days over 70% has fully degraded. 90% was reached within 21 days. NOTE: results may vary depending on the environment.
 What are these certifications about?
The certifications apply rules around the materials behaviour within certain circumstances. The certifications are awarded by a few expert agencies globally so consumers and commercial operations can trust the displayed certification. In New Zealand and Australia we observe the certifications from the ABA (Australasian Bioplastics Association) and certification requirements of the (European Normal) EN13432 OK Compost and OK Compost home. The American ASTM D 6400 certification addresses Commercial Composting Operations and not widely recognised in New Zealand.
 How do I know Earth Starch bags have these certifications?
Earth Starch itemise all the certifications on their bags with the relevant logos for easy identification and authenticity.
 What is the circular economy about?
A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Please refer to our diagram.
 What is the shelf life of an Earth Starch bag?
Earth Starch bags have a 12 month (from date of manufacture) shelf life before they start to degrade. All Earth Starch bags manufactured in 2018 will have the date of production printed on the carton exterior. It is recommended you keep the bags sealed in a container away from moisture, sunlight and heat. Open the container only as you need the bags.
 What happens to the Earth Starch bags after 12 months?
The integrity of the bag will start to degrade; depending on the environment and how the bag has been stored the material may lose strength and eventually fracture.
 Can I put my Earth Starch bag in the recycle bin?
No. Compostable bags will be a contaminant to the various plastic recycling programmes.
 Can I store my fruit and vegetables in an Earth Starch bag?
Yes absolutely, we have found that fruit and vegetables have remained fresher longer in our bags.
 Does the Earth Starch bag produce methane when composting?
Yes it does, just like any organic waste when it composts.
 Can I send my Earth Starch bag to the Landfill?
Some local Council have Methane power plants at their landfill that collect the methane gas and power their operation.
 What happens if our Council does not have a Methane power plant?
It is conceivable that Earth Starch bags will degrade at a slower pace in a landfill (this is untested). AS5810-2010 certified bags are tested as home compostable, effectively they are compostable in inferior conditions.
 Should Earth Starch bags go to the landfill?
Please check with your local Council, we believe a 100% compostable bag is better at the landfill than a plastic bag with no degradability.
 What is the difference between Biodegradable and Compostable?
Biodegradable products will decompose in a microbial environment, there is no guarantee it will completely degrade and no guarantee how long it will take. Compostable products will be fully decomposed within 90 days in a commercial system or if certified to AS5810-2010 standards 90 days in a home composting system. The end product of CO2, H2O and biomass leave no negative effect on the germination and the growth of plants. As an extension to this; Earth Starch bags have been tested to have no toxic impact on worms It is worthwhile to note that some Countries still refer to Compostable products as being biodegradable; which does not help the confusion.
 How strong is an Earth Starch bag?
All 2018 produced Earth Starch bags will have a recommended carry weight printed on the bag. At present our large carry bag has a carry load of 8 kgs.
 Do Earth Starch bags contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)?
No, Earth Starch products are completely GMO free.
 Can I put my collected pet waste into the compost at home?
Earth Starch does not recommend the use of pet waste in your home compost system especially if you use the compost on food producing plants. We feel it is best at the landfill or at a commercial composter who agree to take this type of waste.
 PBAT – What is it?
BAT (short for polybutylene adipate terephthalate) is a biodegradable random copolymer, specifically a copolyester of adipic acid, 1,4-butanediol and dimethyl terephthalate. PBAT is produced by many different manufacturers and may be known by the brand names ecoflex®, Wango, Ecoworld, Eastar Bio, and Origo-Bi. It is generally marketed as a fully biodegradable alternative to low-density polyethylene, having many similar properties including flexibility and resilience, allowing it to be used for many similar uses such as plastic bags and wraps. When blended with corn-starch it takes on the compostable properties of the starch. Reference:
 PLA – What is it?
Poly(lactic acid) or polylactic acid or polylactide (PLA) is a biodegradable and bioactive thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch (in the United States and Canada), cassava roots, chips or starch (mostly in Asia), or sugarcane (in the rest of the world). In 2010, PLA had the second highest consumption volume of any bioplastic of the world.[3] The name "polylactic acid" does not comply with IUPAC standard nomenclature, and is potentially ambiguous or confusing, because PLA is not a polyacid (polyelectrolyte), but rather a polyester.[4] Reference:  



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