Is it okay to dispose of products contaminated with biohazards in my compost bin?
Yes you can dispose of compostable items that may be contaminated with bloodborne pathogens or other contaminates in a compost bin that is going to be processed at an industrial facility. Technically you can dispose of contaminated compostables in a home system aswell, however we cannot recommned this becuase the usage of the soil, the length of time and the exact conditions of a home compost bin are all different. Due to those factors theres no way to garauntee that an individuals home compost could yeild soil suitable for growing food etc.
When an item is industrially composted it goes through rigorous climate conditions in order to break down which deactivates most pathogens. Typically, temperatures reached in a well-managed compost operation are in a range of 50 to 65o C. Such temperatures are well above the thermal death points of mesophilic pathogens. As the temperature of the composting process increases pathogens are usually destroyed as they reach their thermal death points. The survival of bacteria is variable but most viruses are killed in about 20 minutes at 70°C. There is a relationship between temperature and time. A high temperature for a short period or a lower temperature for a longer period may be equally effective.
Does tattoo garbage have to be disposed of as medical waste?
Depending on what country you are in the answer to this may differ. It is best to check with your municipality. In Canada and the United States (we operate in North America) tattoo garbage is disposed of in the same landfill garbage system that regular household and commercial business garbage goes to. This means that if a product is contaminated by blood or other fluids that are considered biohazardous it is still being disposed of in a way that does not treat or separate the contaminated item. The advantage to using biodegradable and compostable products that end up in a landfill is simply that they will break down under those conditions instead of remaining a biohazard indefinetly.
Is it better to use recycled plastics instead of compostable or biodegradable products?
There is no one answer to climate change and the plastic crisis we face, it is really going to be a combination of all three of these options that will make an impact.
However, when it comes to items such as razors and barriers that are contaminated with biohazardous materials you cannot recycle them or reuse them; the only option is to send it to a landfill. While it is a step in the right direction to use recycled plastics, in particular for tattooing it only gives the item a short lived second life before ending up in the garbage. That is why we prefer to use compostables and biodegradables that have been shown to decompose when sent to a landfill.
How do the biodegradable green gloves break down if they are made of nitrile?
Our gloves are made of a mixture of nitrile and organic material that our manufacturer blends together which is why they perform the same way regular nitrile gloves do while still holding the capacity to degrade quickly. They are certified under ASTM D5511.
The organic compound additive attracts micro-organisms ( bacteria, fungi etc) that literally consume the glove material. Once this process is complete the only thing left behind is H20, CO2 and methane. Our manufacturing partners also conducted studies on how this process affects soil and plants that are exposed to this and found that it has no detrimental affects on their germination or growth patterns.
What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable?
The primary difference between compostable and biodegradable is that compostable products require a specific setting in order to break down, whereas biodegradable products break down naturally. Typically composting is a faster process, but only under the right conditions.
Simply put, something is biodegradable if it can be disintegrated by bacteria, fungi, or some other biological process of its own. Composting is the process of recycling organic waste so that it can eventually be reused, done under specific conditions where oxygen, heat and moisture are monitored.
What is industrial composting?
Industrial or commercial composting is the system used by cities to process large volumes of organic material.
There are basically three techniques used in industrial composting: windrow, in-vessel, and aerated static pile composting.
In-vessel composting, however, is a process that takes place in an enclosed environment. In-vessel composting can process large amounts of waste and it can accommodate virtually any type of organic waste — meat, animal manure, bio-solids, and food scraps, for example. This method involves feeding organic materials into a drum, silo, concrete-lined trench, or similar equipment. This enables efficient control of environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture, and airflow. The material is mechanically turned or mixed to make sure the material is aerated to encourage bacterial activity. The size of the vessel can vary in size and capacity.
What is PLA plastic and PBAT plastic ?
PLA is the common name for Polylactic Acid or Polyactide. PLA is made from starch rich plants such as corn, wheat and sugar beets. These plants are first milled to separate the starch, from which is unrefined dextrose is processed. The unrefined dextrose goes through a fermentation process and the result is lactic acid. After condensation, two lactic acide molecules are converted into one lactide. The lactide molecule is then purified through vacuum distillation and a solvent-free melt causes the ring shaped molecule to turn into long chain polymers.
100% compostable means that PLA products are fully renewable. It can be converted back to monomer and polymer, or, it can be biodegraded into water, carbon dioxide and organic materials. PLA is much more sustainable than regular petroleum made plastic.
PBAT (short for polybutylene adipate terephthalate) is a biodegradable random copolymer, specifically a copolyester of adipic acid, 1,4- butanediol and terephthalic acid (from dimethyl terephthalate). PBAT is a certified 100% compostable material, which leaves no pollution to the environment at all after quick degradation in composting facilities.
Here is a quote from european-bioplastics.org by the researchers at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (2018) who successfully demonstrated that that soil microorganisms metabolically utilized the carbon in the PBAT polymer both for energy production and also to build up microbial biomass:
“This clarifies that nothing remains after biodegradation besides water, CO2 and biomass,“ says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics e.V.. “With this study, two concerns that are constantly being raised about biodegradable plastics have been rebutted – the doubt that microorganisms fully metabolize certified biodegradable plastics and the concern that the oil-based part of the polymer will not biodegrade completely.“
The tested PBAT polymer is a fossil-based, biodegradable polymer, which is used amongst others for the production of biodegradable, certified compostable bio-waste bags (according to EN 13432) or biodegradable in soil certified mulch films (according to EN 17033).
PBAT is marketed commercially as a fully biodegradable plastic, with BASF's ecoflex® showing 90% degradation after 80 days in testing. Particular applications that are highlighted by the manufacturers include cling wrap for food packaging, compostable plastic bags for gardening and agricultural use, and as water resistant coatings for other materials, as in paper cups. Due to its high flexibility and biodegradable nature, PBAT is also marketed as an additive for more rigid biodegradable plastics to impart flexibility while maintaining full biodegradability of the final blend
What is the difference between PBAT & PLA?
Even though PBAT and PLA are both 100% compostable and biodegradable. They are two different bio material.
- Source: PLA comes from lactic. PBAT is a copolymer with three different monomers.
- Application aspect: PBAT is used in blow film more often while PLA is more suitable for extrusion/injection/thermoforming/... grade application.
- Properties: PBAT is soft and flexible with low elastic modules, PLA is hard and rigid.
Our barrier films are a blend of these two bio-plastics which is why they are capable of breaking down on their own, outside of an industrial composting facility.
How do I dispose of Good Judy products?
Garbage disposal varies from place to place. If you work within an area that has an industrial composting system you can dispose of our products that way. We suggest setting up a compostable bin beside the trash bin at your tattoo station.
If your garbage disposal ships to a landfill only then you can still throw our products away with the trash and they will decompose naturally once exposed to light, air and other elements but at a slower rate then if they go to a facility.
How can I understand the classifications of microorganisms affected by hospital grade cleaners?
Here is a comprehensive chart that shows how microorganisms are classified. When looking at a label, you want to make sure you have represented organisms within a class (bacteria, non-enveloped or enveloped viruses, fungi, mycobacterium, or bacterial spores). As long as you have organisms within the same class or it kills organisms in a “tougher” class, the product is likely to do the job you need. For example, in the case of Herpes and Hepatitis, they are enveloped viruses, so any product with HIV (or on the Health Canada COVID lists) kill claims or other enveloped viruses should be good to kill Herpes and Hep B.