Glossary of Terms

Synthetic petroleum based plastic made from gasoline, kerosene, and oils including: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene (PP) and Polystyrene (PS).

Materials produced from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, wood-chips, sawdust, recycled food waste, etc. Superficially, it is similar to conventional petrochemical-based plastics. It has the distinct advantage of degrading to nontoxic products.

Chemically identical to their petrochemical counterpart, but made from renewable resources. Examples include bioPE, bio-PET, bio-propylene, bio-PP, and biobased nylons. Easy to implement using existing infrastructure. However, as they are chemically identical to their fossil-based counterparts, it also means they share their properties. So, if the counterpart is non-biodegradable, the bio-based is non biodegradable as well.

We define SUSTAINABILITY as the consistent enactment of awareness to reduce the assault on the natural world while maintaining current and long term economic prosperity, with a minimal impact on the environment and human health, while working towards a net positive outcome for future generations.

That a product is safe, healthy or environmentally friendly because it only contains natural ingredients.

Microplastics are very small pieces of plastic that pollute the environment. They are not a specific kind of plastic, but rather any type of plastic fragment that is less than 5 mm in length.

They enter natural ecosystems from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes. 

Greenwashing, also called “green sheen”, is a form of marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly. Wikipedia

Any component or material used, including the printing ink, can decompose into organic soil. The end user can simply can place the product in the home compost bin along with fruit and vegetable. 

Anaerobic digestion is a process through which bacteria break down organic matter—such as our products—without oxygen. As the bacteria “work,” they generate biogas. The biogas that is generated is made mostly of methane, the primary component of natural gas.

Starch is one of the most promising natural polymers because of its inherent biodegradability, overwhelming abundance and annual renewability. Starches offer a very attractive low cost base for new biodegradable polymers due to their low material cost and ability to be processed with conventional plastic processing equipment.

“Food grade plastic” is best defined as food safe plastic. The term refers to any plastic suitable for contact with consumable food or drink products. As some acidic foods or liquids can leach chemicals from their containers, it is important that they are stored in appropriate containers.

Biocompatibility is a general term describing the property of a material being compatible with living tissue. Biocompatible materials do not produce a toxic or immunological response when exposed to the body or bodily fluids.

One specific concern is the possibility for GMOs to negatively affect human health. This could result from differences in nutritional content, allergic response, or undesired side effects such as toxicity, organ damage, or gene transfer.

PLA or Polylactic Acid, comes from fermented plant starch (mostly from corn), and is often referred to as corn starch plastic.  It is one of the most used bioplastics in the world. Unlike petrochemical-based plastics, PLA is “considered” to be biodegradable and eco-friendly.  HOWEVER, it takes at least 80 years to decompose. 

The most common petroleum based synthetic plastic in use today. It is a linear, man-made, addition, homo-polymer, primarily used for packaging.  Takes up to 1,000 years to decompose.

Made from animal waste, a class of natural polyesters that are derived from bacterial fermentation. Basically, microorganisms synthesize polyesters in nutrient-deficient conditions, and these PHAs can then be harvested. PHAs are both bio-based and biodegradable.  

The “EPI” technology is a chemical additive (OXO) that speeds up the degradation process. However, a study on degradable plastics found that they broke down at roughly the same rate as more traditional plastic – not faster. 

PLA, short for Polylactic Acid, is one of the most used bioplastics in the world. Unlike petrochemical-based plastics, PLA is “considered” to be biodegradable and eco-friendly.  HOWEVER, it takes at least 80 years to decompose. 

Product Questions

Our products are home compostable. They can break down into organically viable compounds within a timeframe equal to that of an organic compound (such as food waste) needs take to break down in the same environment.

They can also degrade in the anaerobic (sealed landfill) conditions of traditional landfills. Because Beyond Green plastics are made from bio-based renewable resources, they degrade at the same rate as other natural/organic compounds found in the landfill, such as paper, yard waste, or food.

The answer is both yes and no. The proprietary material that makes up our plastics is biodegradable; it is plant-based and produces non-toxic byproducts, such as humus (the organic compound of soil).

Nevertheless, we respect and adhere to the FTC Green Guide regulations and the California environmental marketing guidelines which state that claims of 100% degradation or biodegradation are difficult to prove.

Therefore, to adhere to California’s Green Guidelines, we are not claiming or marketing our plastics as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘degradable’.

Consumers should be wary of any product that claims to be 100% degradable or 100% biodegradable, because, in short, the current infrastructure of our communities (e.g. landfills, municipal dumps) does not promote/aide complete biodegradation.

If our plastics end up in a landfill, they can degrade in the anaerobic (sealed landfill) conditions of traditional landfills. Because our plastics are made from biobased renewable resources, they degrade at the same rate as other natural/organic compounds found in the landfill, such as paper, yard waste, or food. Yet, even in this less-than-optimal setting, our bags have an environmental value that only a bioplastic product like ours can provide.

For more information on this subject please visit our Government Regulations page, which has links to the laws we site and adhere to.

First and foremost, our plastics do not retain any of the harmful, unsustainable properties of traditional plastics. They come from biobased renewable resources that are grown, rather than processed.

The base ingredient of our bags is maize, which is a non-GMO cereal flour that, during its life cycle, consumes harmful CO2 while producing oxygen for the environment.

In contrast, the polyethylene that goes into traditional plastic bags is manufactured, producing harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Additionally, our plastics are thoroughly compostable. Our product can break down into organically viable compounds within a time period equal to the duration that an organic compound (such as food waste) would take to break down in the same environment.

Composting reduces the amount of waste that gets directed to landfills. Through composting, the organic matter is transformed into a useful fertilizer, thus returning nutrients to the nutrient cycle. As a result, fewer raw materials are added to the production/nutrient cycle cutting down the energy consumption that is associated with current climate change.

Traditional plastic is an environmentally-destructive. At Beyond Green we provide an alternative, ecologically-efficient product. The plastic in a conventional materials are derived from oil or natural gas, i.e. through the use of a non-renewable resource. The materials that make up a Beyond Green products are from extrusion-grade bioplastic and a compound cereal flours and biodegradable polyesters.

Plastics glut landfills for centuries before they degrade, and their production does not support efficient and effective recycling of resources. Additionally, most plastics contain color additives and chemicals that further pollute the environment.

Our products are made from biobased material: the ingredients that go into making one of our plastics are naturally sourced, and can be produced again and again (through crop growing) without harming the environment.

Finally, biobased materials return to nature, sustaining the renewable material life cycle, rather than polluting the environment with plastic byproducts.

Our plastics are designed to be composted. Once the product has been used, we suggest that it be put into a backyard composter, or taken to a local facility that has a bio-solid composter. If there is no compost facility or anaerobic digester in your area, you may be able to work with your municipality, or waste disposal company, to help develop this infrastructure.

We continually promote the movement toward “Zero Waste to Landfill”, and want to inform people that biological materials such as dog waste do not need to end up in the trash bin. However, we understand that composting is not available or viable for everyone.

Even when disposed of at a traditional landfill, our plastics are still the better choice, because our bags will break down into an energy-rich biogas in a short amount of time, unlike other plastics, which take centuries to break down in anaerobic digestion (meaning “without oxygen”).

Our plastic is stronger than conventional plastic. Our bags have been tested to hold up to 4 lbs. of weight. They will not rip, tear, or puncture without sustained force. And yes, our bags are meant to break apart, but not before they live a long, reliable life. When properly stored, our bags retain full strength for their intended use.

Our plastics are not water soluble, as this would cause a number of issues with the performance of items such as straws or bags, potentially leaking contents. However, they are certified as “OK Compost Marine” which means that if our plastics unfortunately do make it into the ocean as debris, they would fully break down and be eaten by microorganisms.

Beyond Green plastics are made from a new generation of material called a bioplastic.

Our bioplastic compound is created from non-GMO cereal flour (maize) and biodegradable polymers.  With it we can substitute fossil fuels (and their byproducts), increasing resource efficiency.

More specifically, our product falls under the sub-heading of compostable plastics: Called biobased/compostable polymers, these formulations are made from biomass/plant feed stocks (in our case cereal flour) and are designed to break down in a controlled environment (composting) into a nutrient-rich humus, which can be used as natural fertilizer and to replenish depleted soil.  Composting reduces the amount of waste that gets directed to landfills. Because our plastics are made from biobased renewable resources, they degrade at the same rate as other natural/organic compounds found in the landfill, such as paper, yard waste, or food.

Due to the organic nature of the materials that make up Beyond Green products, it is recommended that the bags not be exposed to direct sun light or extreme temperatures (above 80° F) for a prolonged period of time.

That said, our bags perform without fail when stored in COMMON environments such as one’s home, garage, vehicle, or place of business, and when used within 1 year of purchase date.

80° F is the suggested temperature for long-term storage of the plastics. In general, our plastics can withstand a temperature of up to 150° Fahrenheit.

Our plastics perform without fail when stored in common environments such as one’s home, garage, vehicle, or place of business, and when used within 1 year of purchase date.

The term, “food grade,” refers to the materials used in equipment. To be defined as food grade, materials need to be non-toxic and safe for consumption. Our products are made from food-grade ingredients along with natural and chemical-free ink. Therefore, they are completely safe for any use. Please do not consume the any of the products!

Yes! Our products are made from food-grade ingredients and just like any other food item you leave out in your kitchen, it can attract mold. Our products should be stored in a closed, dry environment for best results. 

Company Questions

We can meet your needs.  Please contact us for details. 

Let’s talk!

Reach out by using our contact page.  Our goal is to help clean the world, and it’s more than we can do by ourselves!

We have a page dedicated to our credentials here.

Our certifications ensure our customers that are bags are indeed environmentally friendly. A breakdown of each certification is listed below.

USDA Certified Bio-based Product Certification: This certification means that consumers can be assured that the USDA and the Federal Government stand behind the accuracy of the bio-based ingredients as stated on our labels.

Bureau de Normalisation de QuebecThis certification comes from an accredited organization that looks for the utmost compliance with ethical practices regarding products, services, competence, processes, and management systems etc.

Ok Compost IndustrialThis certification means that any product with the OK Compost Industrial label is guaranteed as biodegradable in an industrial composting plant. This applies to all components, inks and additives.

Ok Compost HomeThis certification means that any product with the OK Compost Home label is guaranteed as biodegradable in a home composting environment. This applies to all components, inks and additives.

Ok Compost Marine: This certification means that any product with the OK Compost Marine label is guaranteed as biodegradable if it were to end up as marine debris. This applies to all components, inks and additives.

Green America Certified: Green America certified businesses adopt principles, policies and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, employees, communities, and the planet.

Composting and Manufacturing Alliance Certification: This certification means that our product had been tested and proven compostable with competent and reliable scientific evidence that all the materials in the items will break down into, or otherwise become part of, usable compost in an appropriate composting facility in the United States of America.

Yes!  Simply drop us a call or email from the contact page above. 

It can be overwhelming.  Give us a call, we love to chat.  Beyond Green and clean environments are our passion!

We will always welcome discussions with industry members. Drop us a line.

Our plastics are higher than normal plastics but are in line with other compostable bags on the market.  The difference is, we offer a better solution 🙂

Environmental Questions

They are not biodegradable, only industrial compostable. Also, since PLA is an acid, it will raise the acidity of its surroundings as it composts. In the wild, it takes at least 80 years for PLA to decompose.  To decompose, it needs specific conditions introduced: Oxygen, a Temperature of 140+ degrees, and a 2/3 Cocktail of an organic substrate.

First, it may have religious objections.  For example The use of bovine materials, including beef fat, is prohibited in Hinduism and may also pose a risk of carrying the infectious agent for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.  Second, it’s technically not vegan, which is a growing trend for the consumer market. Other disadvantages such as limited thermo-mechanical stability, environmental instability, insufficient worldwide production facilities, and strict requirements for sterile fermentation conditions, hinder the larger industrial application of PHAs (Kovalcik et al. 2017). 

PE or Polyethylene is one of the most common sources of conventional plastic. Every year, 1.6 million barrels of oil are used to produce plastic bottles alone. It can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose in landfills.

Plastic pollution of the land, water and air is a global problem. Animals and humans can ingest the particles, with uncertain health consequences. … Now, scientists report that they are among the first to examine micro- and nanoplastics in human organs and tissues.

If they end up in marine environments, they’ll function similarly to petroleum-based plastic, breaking down into micro-sized pieces, lasting for decades, and presenting a danger to marine life.

Composting Starch plastics, or PLA (see elsewhere on this page)  in large quantities could undermine conventional composting, since the polymer contained in corn-based plastic makes regular compost more acidic

First and foremost, people buy and then don’t reuse, because of the hassle to carry them around and have enough when needed.  More critically, a study out of the United Kingdom found that you’d have to reuse a cotton tote 327 times to achieve the same carbon-usage ratio as using a paper bag seven times, or a plastic bag used twice. As strange as it sounds, plastic bags have the lightest per-use impact of the various bags the study examined. Cotton totes, on the other hand, in terms of production and distribution, actually have according to the Atlantic, “the highest and most severe global-warming potential by far.”

Biodegradable means that a product can be broken down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass within a reasonable amount of time. ‘Reasonable’ in this definition is not defined clearly and products can take up to 1000 years to break down fully. Compostable means that a product can break down in a controlled environment into carbon dioxide, inorganic compounds and biomass in about 90 days, without leaving toxic residue behind. Compost works because millions of microorganisms consume the waste and transform the leftover material into humus, which can be used to improve soil health and fertilize.

Biodegradable means that a product can be broken down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass within a reasonable amount of time. ‘Reasonable’ in this definition is not defined clearly and products can take up to 1000 years to break down fully. Compostable means that a product can break down in a controlled environment into carbon dioxide, inorganic compounds and biomass in about 90 days, without leaving toxic residue behind. Compost works because millions of microorganisms consume the waste and transform the leftover material into humus, which can be used to improve soil health and fertilize.

Oxodegradable plastics quickly fragment into smaller and smaller pieces, called microplastics, but don’t break down at the molecular or polymer level like Biodegradable and compostable plastics. The resulting microplastics are left in the environment indefinitely until they eventually fully break down.
 
Normally, plastic items can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. Even plastic bags we use in our everyday life take anywhere from 10 to 1,000 years to decompose, and plastic bottles can take 450 years or more.

They are conventional plastic materials with artificial additives that do not biodegrade but merely fragment into small pieces that remain in and potentially harm the environment and endanger recycling and composting.