We understand there can be a lot of confusion around the various words and phrases related to ‘green’ products. For example, ‘biodegradable’ is not the same as ‘compostable’ and not all biodegradable materials are compostable! It’s far from straightforward, which is why we are looking forward to working with the University of East Anglia to help us better understand key terms and which materials are genuinely earth-friendly or not. This helps us determine where we draw the line – we don’t make claims, for example, that every product on the Marketplace is vegan-friendly, but we are 100% clear they will be free of plastics – new, recycled, and at the moment also bioplastics. This also applies to the packaging which orders are sent in.

We publish a list of materials that are currently accepted in products on the Marketplace which can be downloaded here. A list of materials not accepted is available here.

We aim for transparency, and to give clarity to every ‘green’ term we use on the Marketplace, so Customers can feel confident in knowing their purchases are genuinely helping the planet. We also recognise and value the Green Claims Code which helps consumers identify genuine environmental claims about products or services.

The majority of Products on the Marketplace are more than plastic-free – many are biodegradable and/or compostable. To help you understand what we mean by these terms, here are our definitions:


BIODEGRADABLE – the materials used in the products will break down completely in the natural environment, usually through bacteria or other micro-organisms, leaving no trace of toxins, or other materials behind. 


COMPOSTABLE – the materials used in the Products will break down completely in industrial composting facilities within a specific time frame (usually 180 days or less), leaving no trace of toxins or other materials behind.


HOME COMPOSTABLE - the materials used in the Products will break down completely in a home compost within a specific time frame (usually 180 days or less), leaving no trace of toxins or other materials behind, providing nutrients to surrounding soil and plants.


SUSTAINABLE – the long-term use of materials contained within the Product can continue without detriment or compromise to the planet and its inhabitants.


VEGAN - the Products contains no animal or animal-derived ingredients.

To understand our current position about bioplastics, please read here

A note about balloons:

You may have noticed the move to 'natural latex' balloons, and how they are promoted as 'biodegradable', and/or 'eco-friendly'. Whilst natural latex is indeed biodegradable, it is only this (the latex from the Hevea tree) that degrades naturally without harming the environment. During the manufacturing process of balloons, pigments and dyes are added to make the colours and patterns, plus other chemicals and plasticisers to ensure the latex is less brittle. This results in a less than 'natural' and less than 'biodegradable' product. Natural latex itself can still take anything between 6 months to 6 years to biodegrade, meaning wildlife are more likely to discover and ingest the remnants of the balloons. 

Trying to determine how a balloon has been made, and the exact composition of pigments and/or chemicals added at the manufacturing process isn’t easy, but add in the fact that remnants remain around for such a long time (confirmed by another study recently) posing a danger to wildlife, we have decided not to sell any kind of traditional balloon such as latex (natural or otherwise), Mylar, Foil, and Helium on the Marketplace.

The good news is we are able to offer some fantastic, home compostable alternatives that don't pop, can be re-used multiple times, and have proved a real hit with our younger party goers (and their parents). You'll find them in the Party Decorations category. We think you’ll love them too!



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