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Our Packaging is Now Home Compostable!

This has been a long-term goal of ours: work out how to protect seeds from the elements (to increase their germination rates – important!) all while trying to minimise our footprint on this beautiful planet.

So we are giddy with excitement to let you know that we've done it – our first range of seeds in home compostable sachets!

 

Settler Hives home compostable

We’re really conscious of the growing trend of greenwashing, and wanted to be totally transparent with you about this new journey we’re on. 

This is where we are at...

 

Typically, home compostable packaging is 2-3 times more expensive than traditional petrochemical packaging, which is mainly because of the low price of oil-based plastics and economy of scale. This is why we are starting our new collection with eight of our most popular lines, with the intention of adding more and more as we can scale.

As of October 20, the following seeds will come exclusively in home compostable packaging:

    • COSMOS 'Sensation Radiance, Pink'
    • CORNFLOWER 'Mixed, Pink, Mauve, White, Blue, Black and Red '  
    • SUNFLOWER 'Classic, Yellow'
    • LOVE IN A MIST 'Persian Jewels, Purple, Blue,  White and Pink'
    • STRAWFLOWER 'Double Mix, Orange, Yellow, Red, White and Pink'
    • MARIGOLD 'Crackerjack, Yellow'
    • MINT 'Peppermint'
    • ZINNIA ‘Scabiosa Mix, Orange, Yellow, Red and Pink'

We will still be stocking our OG pastel packaging until those lines run out (no wastage here, thank you!), so we have plenty to keep you going for a while if that’s more your colour scheme – but we’re really excited to start the transition into a lower carbon footprint.

Answering your FAQs

We worked closely with Nik Taylor of Compost Me, who developed the packaging we use after he witnessed the devastation of the oceans as a marine biologist and an avid surfer. Together we’ve pulled together some answers to your big questions about home compostable packaging.

What does “home compostable” mean?

Our new sachets are accredited home compostable, and will break down naturally and return nutrients back into the soil under specific composting conditions (you can see it happening here). Our packaging is accredited with the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) – which is considered the world’s gold standard – and meets the following disintegration test:

After 26 weeks at ambient temperature (20-30C), “no material left in the compost can be distinguished from the compost”. This accreditation confirms that the packaging will completely break down in composting conditions, and be non-toxic to the environment.

How do I compost Settler Hives packaging at home?

Place them in a compost bin as “brown” materials. The sachets will break down within 2-3 months, and a bit faster if you cut them into small pieces first.

Don’t have a compost at home? No worries!

They can also be sent to composting facilities if you don’t have your own composting set-up at home. We recommend this composter directory in Australia, or the ShareWaste initiative.

What happens if home compostable packaging ends up in landfill or the ocean?

Certified compostable packaging will react in landfill the same as other organic waste, such as paper and wood. Research has been undertaken that shows organic waste in deep landfill is inert due the lack of oxygen and moisture required to start biodegradation.

But there’s some good news: Nik and his team have independently tested their home compostable laminates in a marine environment and are seeing encouraging results regarding biodegradation. Their laminates (which is what we use in our packaging) are designed to break down at ambient temperature in the presence of microbes, water and oxygen and naturally biodegrade back into water without eco-toxicity.

Settler Hives

Thank you for your ongoing support of Settler Hives as we continue to try new ways of doing things.