Is apple packaging biodegradable?

The article will discuss the biodegradability of apple packaging. Other topics that will be shed light upon will include:

  • Sustainability of apple packaging 
  • Reuse of apple packaging 
  • Disposal of apple packaging 

Is apple packaging biodegradable?

Apple packaging is biodegradable because most apple packaging is done through cardboard boxes which are made from recycled or virgin pulp. The pulp is a plant-based material which can be degraded in six to eight months. 

Apple packaging can be considered sustainable if it is made from recycled material or sustainably sourced forests. Apple packaging may be reused several times before disposal. As regards disposal, the article will explore options such as composting, recycling, and repurposing. 

What material is used for apple packaging?

The most common material used to pack apples is cardboard boxes which are made from plant-based materials. 

In order to develop a stance on the biodegradability of apple packaging, it is essential to know what materials are used to pack apples. While there are a variety of options available, including plastics, the most common material is cardboard. 

So, what is cardboard packaging? In other words, let us explore what materials are used to make cardboard so that a stance on their biodegradability may be developed without any ambiguity. 

It is observed that cardboard is made from tree pulp and also recycled paper. Since it is a bio-based material, it offers the necessary nutrients that the microbes can ingest leading to the biodegradation of cardboard material. 

As regards the time taken, it is claimed that cardboard can completely break down in a matter of about six to eight months. 

Is apple packaging sustainable?

The burgeoning environmental concerns ask one important and repeated question and that is whether something is sustainable or not. 

Therefore, let us pause and ask what sustainability is. For a simple answer, sustainability is the mindset to consume in the present while being mindful of the future. 

If we explore our case, we will see that the answer to this question will vary subjectively. However, since cardboard is the most common choice, we will answer the question accordingly. 

Cardboard boxes can be said to be sustainable because they are made from renewable and plant-based sources. However, apple packaging will be considered more sustainable if it is made from recycled material rather than virgin material. 

However, certain factors also have to be accounted for before finalising a stance. While tree pulp is not that hazardous, if trees are excessively cut, there will be detrimental impacts because trees are the air cleaners that save us from a bunch of environmental anomalies. 

Therefore, it is urgent and important to have the raw materials extracted from sustainably-sourced forests and the tree-cutting should also be responsibly done. 

To conclude, it can be said that apple packaging is sustainable if:

  • It is made from recycled material rather than virgin materials 
  • It is made from renewable, plant-based sources
  • It is made when raw materials are extracted sustainably, and preferably certified by a third-party organisation such as Forest Stewardship et cetera. 

Is apple packaging suitable for single use?

No, apple packaging can be used multiple times and this will not only save you some money but will also save a lot of the environment. 

The most common material for apple packaging is cardboard boxes made from recycled or virgin pulp. These boxes are made durable that can stand the test of time. 

Therefore, consumers are encouraged to reuse apple packaging a number of times. While the exact duration or number of reuse may vary; it is claimed that if dealt with properly, apple packaging can be reused for as long as two years or up to seven times. 

How to dispose of apple packaging?

Let us say that you have substantially reused apple packaging. It is now time to dispose of it and you are seeking options regarding that. 

Many people prefer the easy way, which is to just throw it in regular trash cans. While this may be convenient; it aligns very little with environmental interests. 

Therefore, let us explore some more eco-friendly options regarding the disposal of apple packaging. 

Composting (9 steps of composting)

When it comes to the disposal of apple packaging, composting is one of the best candidates because the end result, which is called compost, can be used for a variety of green purposes. 

Compost acts as a natural fertiliser that can increase and improve the organic content of the soil. This can improve the quality of plants and actually increase the yield. As per research, compost can also potentially increase the water retention profile of plants and soil. 

It can be said that the benefits given off by composting and compost are off the chart therefore, you should never leave the chance of composting by preferring to throw it in trash cans. 

Now, the question becomes how can you compost apple packaging. When it comes to that, there are two options available:

  • To have your apple packaging composted in a composting facility 
  • To compost the apple packaging at your home 

In the first case, the process is very simple. Simply collect your apple packaging leftovers, add them with other compostable material and drop it off in a nearby composting facility. 

However, if there are no nearby composting facilities, you can also compost apple packaging at home by pursuing the following steps

  • Select a suitable place for composting 
  • The place should be a bit distant from your home but should also be accessible
  • Shred apple packaging into smaller pieces 
  • Make a heap of compostable material 
  • You may either do it openly or prefer a composting bin (which is usually preferred in the case of hot composting) 
  • While making the heap, be careful of the green-to-brown ratio. Green material means nitrogen-rich material such as leaves whereas brown material means carbon-rich material such as cardboard boxes
  • Make alternate layers of green and brown. After each duo, add a thin layer of soil. Keep up until you have 4 feet of the heap. 
  • Continuously mix (every 4-5 days) the heap and be sure to provide the right external conditions which include aeration, shade and appropriate temperature
  • Once the compost is ready, use it resourcefully and wisely 


Another green way to dispose of apple packaging is to recycle it. This way also, you save the apple packaging from ending up in landfills. 

When apple packaging is recycled, it is modified to be reused as if it were new material. This is considered green because when apple packaging is recycled, there is no need to extract the raw materials which basically means the cutting of trees. 

Therefore, let us discuss what you can do to have your apple packaging recycled. 

  • Disposing of in recycling bins
  • Transporting the apple packaging in recycling facilities
  • Having the nearby recycling centres pick up your apple packaging and other recyclable material via appointment 


While we discuss the biodegradability of cardboard boxes, let us also shed some light on some ways in which cardboard boxes can be reused. The options are: 

  • DIY projects
  • Make boxes into planters
  • Use as furniture sliders
  • Use to kill weeds naturally 
  • Use as storage containers
  • Reusing cardboard boxes for shipping purposes 
  • Decorate the room or garden with old boxes 


It is concluded that apple packaging is biodegradable because most apple packaging is done through cardboard boxes which are made from recycled or virgin pulp. The pulp is a plant-based material which can be degraded in six to eight months. 

Apple packaging can be considered sustainable if it is made from recycled material or sustainably sourced forests. Apple packaging may be reused several times before disposal. 

As regards disposal, the article explored options such as composting, recycling, and repurposing. 


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