Is Amazon tape biodegradable? (5 reasons why Amazon packaging is eco-friendly) 

In this article, the biodegradability of Amazon tape will be discussed. Other explored topics would be:

  • Is Amazon packaging eco-friendly?
  • Why should there be biodegradable tape and packaging?
  • What is biodegradability?
  • What are the types of waste based on biodegradability?
  • What are the examples of biodegradable and nonbiodegradable waste?
  • FAQs

Is Amazon tape biodegradable?

Yes, Amazon tape is biodegradable and compostable because it is made from natural materials. Natural materials are generally biodegradable and compostable. 

The fact that Amazon tape is compostable too other than being biodegradable further asserts Amazon’s inclination toward a greener and sustainable future. 

This is because when a substance is compostable, it also means that it is not only made from natural materials but also does not contain any toxic substances. 

For example, drywall mud may be biodegradable but its degradation would lead to the release of harmful gases that will pollute the earth and will also cause medical complications. Therefore, drywall mud will not be composted. 

However, let us take examples of plant wastes that have high organic content. Such waste is not only biodegradable but can also be composted because of its high mineral contents and no toxic factors. 

While Amazon has not clearly revealed the exact composition of its packaging tapes, it is not really hard to guess. If a substance is biodegradable and compostable, it has to be made from natural materials.

Most of the biodegradable and compostable packing tapes are made from plant-derived cellulose film with rubber adhesives.  

Is Amazon packaging eco-friendly? (5 reasons why) 

There are a number of endeavours that must be appreciated and given due credit. These steps are in accordance with the green principles and green philosophy. 

Here is a list of some endeavours done by Amazon to advance a step forward toward sustainability:

  • Option of plastic-free delivery
  • Frustration free programs
  • Amazon Day
  • Use of recycled material 
  • Use machine learning to reduce packaging materials 

Amazon has enabled customers to opt for plastic-free deliveries. However, customers will have to go an extra mile for it. Customers can now contact Amazon customer representatives and can ask them to not get plastic packaging deliveries.

Another limitation of this endeavour is that this option is not available everywhere. This means that only a handful of places are given the liberty of plastic-free packaging. 

Another great initiative by Amazon is its pledge to reduce the amount of packaging material. In regard to this, the company makes use of better algorithms. The company’s vision is to rely on machine-based artificial intelligence to make use of fewer packaging materials. 

It is claimed that because of these algorithms, Amazon has been able to reduce the packaging material by more than 34%. 

Amazon pledges to make use of recycled materials in the packaging process to reduce the effect on the environment by reusing materials. In 2020, Amazon also promised to make use of 100% recycled material for device packaging by the year 2023. 

In 2008, Amazon introduced the frustration-free program of packaging which asserts that the least amount of packaging may be used to ensure that there is the least amount of stress put on the environment. 

This resulted from these endeavours that Amazon managed to reduce more than 2,00,000 tons of packaging material. In North America alone, Amazon claims to reduce packaging material by 30,000 tons.

Why should there be biodegradable tape and packaging?

As it can be guessed, biodegradable packaging is packed with a number of advantages and applications that are good for the people, the planet and the economy as well.

In this section, we will explore the various benefits of biodegradable packaging so that a stance may be edified on why it should be preferred as compared to non-biodegradable packaging. 

One big advantage of biodegradable packaging is that it leads to a reduction in carbon footprint. This is because biodegradable packaging makes use of green and natural materials. 

Non-biodegradable packaging, on the other hand, makes use of harmful fossil fuels to make the materials for packaging. This leads to the emissions of harmful greenhouse gases like methane or carbon dioxide. 

GHGs lead to global warming and several other anomalies like deforestation, loss of habitat, loss of life, disruptions of ecosystems et cetera. 

Another great advantage of biodegradable packaging is that it avoids the use of harmful and toxic materials like plastics. It already has been seen that biodegradable packaging is made from natural materials like sugar cane or mushrooms. 

These natural materials can degrade in a short span of time as compared to synthetic plastics which may take more than 900 years to degrade. 

Plastics are also linked to numerous other medical complications like skin diseases, mutations, cancer, eye infections, et cetera. 

Another stood out advantage and application of biodegradable packaging is its ease of disposal. Biodegradable packaging can be disposed of without having to worry about its degradation because it will happen readily. 

Unlike non-biodegradable packaging, which may take many hundred years, biodegradable packaging will not cause such problems. 

Other than being recycled, biodegradable packaging can also be used to make compost because it contains organic and natural materials. This compost can be used as a natural fertiliser to increase the organic content of the soil. 

Increased organic content will also mean better plant growth and production and increased water retention profiles. This will assist in water conservation endeavours as well. 

What is biodegradability?

Biodegradability can be explained as a natural process through which microbes break down complex waste into simpler substances. This conversion is also facilitated by external conditions such as temperature or sunlight. 

The main driver of biodegradation is microbes. These microbes include bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa, yeast, and decomposers. They break down the structures of complex waste so that the simple waste may become part of nature again. 

Biodegradability is nature’s way to ensure that there is no waste and that the waste produced is taken back into the system. It is because mother nature is aware that if there is waste, there will be complications and obstructions. 

To understand this, the article invited you to an analogy. Imagine that for some reason you are unable to dispose of waste in your home or office. The situation may be manageable for some days but not very long.

Now, imagine that you can not dispose of the waste for several hundred years. The first thought that you will get is that your home or office will become unlivable. The same is the case for biodegradability and the earth. 

Biodegradability is the earth’s dustbin and earth is our home. If there is no biodegradability, there is no waste disposal. This will, eventually, steal our home’ capacity to sustain life. Results? Mass extinction and environmental degradations. 

What are the types of waste based on biodegradability?

Biodegradability is the earth’s natural way to eliminate waste by making sure that it gets back to the system. However, there has been corruption in this naturality as well. 

Regarding biodegradability, there is a general understanding that natural materials and natural waste are biodegradable. This is because it coincides with the code of nature. The microbes have no difficulty in breaking down the structures of this type of waste. 

On the other hand, we have the type of waste which can not be degraded by the action of microbes. This type of waste is mostly considered man-made. That is because microbes are unable to degrade the inner structures of synthetic materials and as a result, this type of waste may persist for hundreds of years. 

What are the examples of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste?

In this section, various examples of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste will be covered to further our understanding of the concept and science of biodegradability. 

Biodegradable waste is that waste can be degraded by the action of microbes. This type of waste may degrade readily or may also take some months. As per some studies, biodegradable waste (like bio-plastics) may even take some years to degrade. Examples of biodegradable waste include: 

  • Food waste
  • Plant waste
  • Animal waste
  • Manure
  • Sewage 
  • Crop waste
  • Waste from slaughterhouse 
  • Natural fibres
  • Drywall mud 

Non-biodegradable waste, on the other hand, can not be degraded by the action of microbes. It is mainly because microbes are unable to break the structures of this type of waste. 

It is generally perceived that materials that are synthesised in the lab from petroleum or fossil fuels are not biodegradable. The tragedy is that with increased commercialisation and consumerism, more such waste is generated which leaves us with unprecedented and grave issues. 

Synthetic polymers are regarded as the most common non-biodegradable waste. Other examples may include: 

  • Electronic waste
  • Plastics 
  • Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Nuclear waste
  • Synthetic fibres
  • Dyneema 
  • PHA 
  • EVA
  • Hazardous waste
  • Chemical waste

Conclusion

It can be concluded that Amazon tape is biodegradable and compostable because it is made from natural materials.

While Amazon has not clearly revealed the exact composition of its packaging tapes, it is not really hard to guess. If a substance is biodegradable and compostable, it has to be made from natural materials.

Most of the biodegradable and compostable packing tapes are made from plant-derived cellulose film with rubber adhesives.  

The fact that Amazon tape is compostable too other than being biodegradable further asserts Amazon’s inclination toward a greener and sustainable future because compostable materials are non-toxic and contain decent amounts of organic contents. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Amazon tape biodegradable?

What kind of tape is good for the environment?

Plastic-free paper tape is good for the environment. It is made from natural materials (plant-based) with rubber adhesives. 

Is Amazon tape recyclable as well?

Yes, Amazon tape is recyclable as well other than being compostable and recyclable. 

References 

  • Siracusa, V., Rocculi, P., Romani, S., & Dalla Rosa, M. (2008). Biodegradable polymers for food packaging: a review. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 19(12), 634-643.

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