New Same, Same Eco-Friendly Packaging

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California recently passed new laws that make it nearly impossible for a company to have the term “biodegradable” on a product label. Many businesses are changing their labels to accommodate this change but are not changing their products. In other words, they have a new name but the same eco-friendly products and packaging.

What Does “Biodegradable” Mean?

In simple terms, biodegradable refers to items or products that break down to their most basic components and dissolve back into the earth when exposed to the right conditions. These conditions generally include air, moisture, and fungi, bacteria, or other microorganisms.

Food scraps like vegetables, fruits, and meat, and wood products are all biodegradable. Other common items like paper will also break down easily. Some plastics and metals will eventually decompose over years, but since it would take a very long time, they’re not generally considered biodegradable.

Biodegradable Claims in California

Biodegradable products and packaging have become very popular in recent years, as companies and consumers alike strive to do better for the planet. However, legally labeling a product or package “biodegradable” is complicated, as both state and federal governments have different requirements.

Until recently, California allowed companies to label their products and packaging as biodegradable if they passed a specific testing process called ASTM D7081. But the state passed a law that removes references to ASTM D7081 from its labeling requirements-- effectively making it impossible to label any product or package as biodegradable-- even if that same item still meets the old standards.

New Label, Same Sustainability Focus

Terra & Co. is registered in California, so, in an abundance of caution, we’re choosing to remove the term “biodegradable” from our dental floss packaging, replacing it with “eco-friendly.”  This change, however, doesn’t change our commitment to sustainability. After all, labels like “biodegradable” only have meaning if the product they describe actually helps the environment-- which is precisely what Terra & Co. aims to do.

All the ingredients in our eco-friendly dental floss are still natural and biodegradable—from activated charcoal bamboo fiber and organic extra virgin coconut oil to vegan candelilla wax and essential oils. The packaging, except for the metal floss cutter, is also made from recycled paper and is 100% recyclable.

Even More Eco-Friendly Products

Terra & Co.’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond our dental floss and includes everything from the toothpaste and toothbrushes to the shipping process.

Our eco-friendly toothbrush handle is made from solid bamboo, so it can be composted or upcycled once it wears out. Even the activated charcoal bristles and zero-waste recycled paper packaging can be recycled after use.

Our eco-friendly toothpaste comes in bio-based packaging made from sugar byproducts that are easily recycled and made into new tubes. What’s more, we work hard to use recycled materials in our packaging materials and ship plastic-free whenever possible.

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