General questions about products and certificates

1. What is AnEco?

AnEco is a new brand developed from the end of 2018 of An Phat Holdings, which focuses on developing products from eco-friendly biodegradable material, protect the environment and consumer’s health.

2. What products does AnEco have?

Currently, AnEco has products: compostable bags (Shopping bags, trash bags, food bags,…), cutlery, straws, gloves, paper cups, fishing nets and fishing gear, trays, boxes, toys and tableware for children.

3. Where are AnEco products made?

The majority of AnEco products are manufactured in Vietnam. In addition, some other AnEco products are produced by reputable manufacturers in advanced countries such as Korea, Thailand,…

The materials used in AnEco products are imported from reputable companies in producing raw materials in the world such as Nature Works of the US, Total Corbion of the French – Dutch joint venture and AnKor joint venture factory of An Phat Holdings in Korea.

4. Why is AnEco called a 100% compostable product?

AnEco products are made from 100% compostable materials. Therefore, after being used, these products will be treated in landfilling at home or in industrial decomposed condition to be fully transformed by microorganisms into CO2, water and humus. This is a prerequisite for 100% compostable products.

5. What organization have assessed AnEco products?

Currently, AnEco products have been certified OK Compost Home and OK Compost by TUV, BPI Compostable certificate of the US, DIN Certo Compostable certificate and biobased 50-85%.

In order to obtain these certificates, AnEco products have gone through rigorous tests from reputable laboratories around the world appointed and recognized by certification agencies.

6. Certificate of self-decomposed ability of each AnEco product?

At present, AnEco paper cups, bags and gloves have TUV OK Compost HOME certificate of EU, BPI Compostable of USA and DinCerto Compostable of Germany. These products are capable of being completely decomposed within 6-12 months after being buried in landfills at home.

AnEco straws, knives, spoons and forks have BPI compostable certificates of the US, TUV OK Compost of EU and DinCerto Compostable of Germany. These products are collected and treated in the industrial landfills and will completely decompose within 6-12 months.

7. What are the differences between AnEco products and biodegradable /self-decomposed products in Vietnamese market?

Currently, there are many eco-friendly biodegradable or self-decomposed products in Vietnamese market. However, these items are either handmade products, such as grass straws, bamboo stems, or have a very short usage time such as straws made from rice starch,…

In addition to natural origin biodegradable products, other product lines of self-decomposed or eco-friendly biodegradable plastic products are all derived from petroleum PE, or mixed with oxidizing additives to decompose Oxo or mixed with a certain proportion of starch to create products labelled biodegradable. These products are not completely biodegradable because the nature of PE is not biodegradable.

AnEco products are completely different from these above products because the materials used in AnEco products are 100% compostable.

AnEco has all the certificates of prestigious international organizations. Therefore, AnEco products are completely environmentally friendly according to the most stringent standards of certification organizations for international biodegradable materials and products.

In-depth question about bio-materials

1. What are the advantages of bio-materials?

Bio-materials help reduce the dependence on limited sources of fossil fuels, which will be more expensive in the next decades.

Bio-materials are made from renewable sources (mainly from annual crops such as corn and sugar beets, or perennial crops such as cassava and sugarcane).

Bio-materials also have the potential to reduce greenhouse gases and even neutralize carbon. Plants absorb CO2 as they grow. Using plants to produce bioplastics is a way to temporarily remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The carbon fixation can be maintained over a period of time by establishing product flow. This means that the material is reused and recycled as much as possible before it is used to generate energy. In the process of regenerating energy, the previously captured CO is released and the energy is regenerated.

2. Are bio-materials entering the plastic market?

Today, bio-materials can replace most of the products and corresponding applications of conventional thermoplastics. Bio-materials are moving out of the old market and into the mass market. The current market of bio-materials is characterized by a rapid growth rate and strong diversification.

Along with the increase in the number of materials, applications and product categories, the number of manufacturers, processors and consumers also increase. Large financial resources have been put into production and marketing to guide and accompany with this development.

The legal framework also facilitates the development of bio-materials in many countries around the world, promoting the development of the market

Major brands in the packaging market include Danone, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Heinz, Tetra Pak, Unilever and L’Occitane; or in the automotive market such as Ford, Mercedes, VW, Toyota; that have launched or integrated biological products. With strong brand that promotes development, the market penetration rate of bio-materials is increasing rapidly.

3. Can bioplastics completely replace fossil-based resins?

Today, bio-materials can be used to make almost all products. For common applications and plastic materials, there is always an alternative bio-material with equal or even higher quality.

Technical challenges are not the main challenges of the bioplastic industry. Incomplete and ineffective policies or incentive measures to build a comprehensive market are problems. According to a PRO BIP study conducted by the University of Utrecht in 2009, bioplastics can technically replace about 85% of conventional plastics.

Today, bio-materials can replace most of the products and corresponding applications of conventional thermoplastics. Bio-materials are moving out of the old market and into the mass market. The current market of bio-materials is characterized by a rapid growth rate and strong diversification.

Along with the increase in the number of materials, applications and product categories, the number of manufacturers, processors and consumers also increase. Large financial resources have been put into production and marketing to guide and accompany with this development.

The legal framework also facilitates the development of bio-materials in many countries around the world, promoting the development of the market

Major brands in the packaging market include Danone, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Heinz, Tetra Pak, Unilever and L’Occitane; or in the automotive market such as Ford, Mercedes, VW, Toyota; that have launched or integrated biological products. With strong brand that promotes development, the market penetration rate of bio-materials is increasing rapidly.

4. Are bioplastics more expensive than conventional plastics?

The costs of research and development still account for a fraction of the investment in bio-materials and have an impact on the prices of materials and products. In addition, the current low oil price makes it difficult for the bio-material industry to achieve competitive prices compared to conventional plastics.

However, prices have continued to decline over the past decade as more companies and brands are turning to bioplastics. Moreover, production capacity is increasing, supply chains and processes are becoming more efficient, prices have dropped significantly.

With increasing demand and more efficient production processes, increasing volumes of biomaterials on the market and oil prices expected to rise again, the costs for bioplastics will soon be competitive to conventional plastics.

Moreover, the specific material characteristics of bio-materials can allow to reduce the amount of material needed for a product or application as well as reduce costs during the use or end of the usage cycle. Now, there have been some examples of materials and products which have competitive costs.

5. What fields use bio-materials?

Today, bio-materials can make almost all products. For common plastic applications and materials, there is always an alternative bio-material with equal or even higher quality. Raw bio-materials are mainly used in these following market segments:

  • Packaging (including flexible and persistent packaging)
  • Consumer goods and household appliances
  • Cars & transportation
  • Construction
  • Textile
  • Agriculture & horticulture
  • Electricity and electronics.

The latest analysis of the data of the European market shows that packaging remained the largest application area for bio-materials with nearly 40% of total bioplastics production in 2016. This data also confirms the increase in the use of bio-materials in many other areas, including consumer goods (22%), applications in the automotive and transportation sectors (14%), construction (13%), where engineering polymers are being used.

6. What are bio-materials made of?

Today, bio-materials are mainly made from carbohydrate-rich plants such as corn, sugarcane or sugar beets – called the first food crops or raw materials.

Currently, the first generation material is the most effective for bio-material production, because it requires the least amount of land to grow and have the most productive.

The bio-material industry is also researching the use of non-food plants (the second and third generation materials), such as cellulose, with the aim of continuing to use them to produce bio-materials.

Advanced technologies are focusing on the inedible byproducts of food crop production, creating large quantities of alternate byproducts such as straw, corn residues or bagasse that can be used to produce biological substances.

7. If using genetically modified plants to produce bio-materials, will it affect human health?

If genetically engineered crops are used to produce bio-materials, multi-stage processing and high temperatures to create polymers have removed all traces of genetic material. This means that the end product does not contain traces of genetically modified food.

Using bio-materials for food packaging would be well suited for its purpose because it does not contain genetically engineered materials and cannot interact with the product. Most of the bio-materials on the market are made from materials that do not contain genetically modified plants.

8. Is Bisphenol A allowed to use in bioplastics?

No. According to European standard, bio-material does not include Bisphenol A.

9. Can bio-materials be recycled?

Bio-materials are diverse. Depending on the material and application, some of them are recyclable. Biological-based PE or PET can easily be recycled. Improved materials like PLA can also be mechanically recycled.

Products made of compostable bio-material are certified to self-decomposed according to EN 13432, which is suitable for industrial decomposition. All compostable bio-materials provide a source of renewable energy because they contain great energy value.

10. What is biodegradation?

Biodegradation is a chemical process in which materials are converted into CO2, water and biomass with the help of microorganisms.

The biodegradation process depends on the conditions (such as location, temperature, humidity, the presence of microorganisms) of the specific environment (industrial decomposition factories, garden compost, soil, water,…) and on materials or applications. Consequently, the process and results of biodegradation may vary.

11. How is industrial biodegradation?

Compostable bio-materials are tested and certified according to European standards for industrial biodegradation EN 13432 (for packaging) or EN 14995 (for general materials), meeting technical standards which are treated in industrial decomposition factories. These factories provide controlled conditions of temperature, humidity, aeration,… to ensure a fast and safe decomposition process.

EN 13432 requires that compostable plastics be broken down after 12 weeks and completely biodegradable after 6 months. So, 90% or more of the biodegradable material will be converted into CO2. The rest is converted into water and biomass – valuable organic fertilizer. Compost is used as a soil amendment and partly as a substitute for mineral fertilizers.

12. Are all bio-products biodegradable?

No. Bio-materials are diverse, biodegradable or not. Currently, the largest market share (more than 75%) of bio-materials on the market is non-biodegradable bio-materials. Biodegradability is an inherent property of certain polymers that may be more suitable for specific applications (for example, garbage bio-bags).

In Europe, bioplastics need to comply with EN 13432 standard for biodegradability.

13. What is the difference between 'biodegradable' and 'compostable'?

Biodegradation is a chemical process in which materials are converted into CO2, water and organic matter with the help of microorganisms. The biodegradation process depends on the conditions (location, temperature, humidity, the presence of microorganisms,…) of the specific environment (industrial composting factories, garden compost, soil, water,…) and on materials or applications. Therefore, the process and its result may vary significantly.

To be recollected by organic recycling (composting), the material or product needs to be completely decomposed through the composting process. The ability to decompose through composting is a property of a product, packaging or associated component that allows it to biodegrade under specific conditions (temperature, specified time frame,…).

These specific conditions are described in standards, such as the European standard for industrial composting EN 13432 (for packaging) or EN 14995 (for general materials). Materials and products that comply with this standard can be certified and labeled appropriately.

14. What is the condition for a product to be 100% compostable?

Industrial composting is an process established with general requirements about temperature and time frame for biodegradable waste to be converted into humus and fertilizer. This process takes place in industrial composting factories or cities.

The decomposition process is provided with controlled conditions including temperature, humidity, aeration,… for fast and safe composting.

The criteria for industrial composting of packaging are specified in the European standard EN 13432. EN 13432 requires materials biodegradable after 12 weeks and fully biodegradable after 6 months. So, 90% of the bioplastics will be converted into CO2. The rest is converted into water and biomass – valuable organic fertilizer.

Now, there are no international standards that specify the conditions for composting of biodegradable materials. However, there are some national standards, such as the Australian Standard AS 5810 for “Composting materials at home using composting methods”. Belgian certification Vinçotte has developed the OK COMPOST HOME certification program, requiring at least 90% degradation in 12 months at ambient temperatures.

Based on this plan, the French standard NF T 51-800 “Plastics – Specifications for home compostable of plastics” has been developed, identifying similar requirements of certificate.

15. What are the advantages of biodegradable/ compostable products?

In addition to recovering energy and recycling, industrial composting (organic restoration/ organic recycling), using biodegradable and composting products such as bio-bags, packaging for fresh food, or disposable tableware and cutlery, becomes a choice of life.

Decomposition provides a clear benefit when biodegradable products can be mixed with biological waste. Under these conditions, mechanical recycling is not feasible. Using composting materials makes this waste suitable for organic recycling (industrial composting and anaerobic digestion). In this way, bio-waste is diverted from other recycling streams or landfills and facilitates separate collection – resulting in the creation of more valuable organic fertilizer.

16. Does industrial composting material degrade the quality of organic compost?

The synthetic material is tested and certified according to the European standard for industrial composting EN 13432. It is required to decompose after 12 weeks and to fully decompose after 6 months. So, 90% of the material will be converted into CO2. The rest is biomass, no longer contains plastic. EN 13432 also includes toxicological and heavy metals tests to ensure that no hazardous substances are left behind.

Very short compost cycles may not be sufficient to allow complete decomposition of some types of bio-waste and compostable plastic packaging. However, waste materials (usually lignocellulosic) in compost factories are screened and added to the next fresh batch for another compost cycle, where they are completely converted into water, carbon dioxide and biomass.

Detailed questions about sales and products

1. Can I buy AnEco retail?

Yes. AnEco products are distributed across the country through sales channels such as supermarkets, agents, grocery and on the Internet (Shopee, Adayroi, website aneco.com.vn,…).
You can find AnEco products at supermarkets across the country such as BigC, Co-op Mart, Lotte Mart, Aeon Mall, Megamall, Vin Mart, Nam An, BRG Mart,…

2. I want to ask about AnEco's promotion?

Currently, AnEco has cooperated with supermarket systems to have monthly promotions, non-profit sales to support consumers.

3. Is the price of AnEco at the store different from the price listed on the website?

The price on website is without promotion, so it will be higher than at agents and supermarkets.

4. What should be done to become AnEco's agent?

If you are interested in the agency policy of AnEco, please refer to the Policy on the website: Aneco.com.vn; Or you can leave your phone number here, we will call back as soon as possible.

5. The price of AnEco products compare to other biodegradable products on the market?

Now, the price of AnEco products is equivalent, even competitive when compared to the other certified biodegradable products currently circulating on the market.

However, when comparing to products made from traditional plastic with oxo additives or mixing with starch, the prices of An Eco products are higher.

6. After decomposing, do AnEco products leave any toxic?

No, they don’t. Brand AnEco is eco-friendly consumer goods, manufactured from 100% compostable materials.

7. Do AnEco bags contain chemical fragrances?

Currently, AnEco bags do not contain chemical fragnances. The smell of the bags is the typical smell of the materials that make up the bag.

8. Does AnEco have zip bags yet?

At the moment, AnEco doesn’t have zip bags, we are still researching this product.

9. Can AnEco's knives cut meat and fish?

At present, AnEco knifes, spoons and forks are made from 100% compostable materials and are disposable products. They are made for the purpose of using for processed products, so AnEco knives can cut these processed foods including well cooked meat and fish.

10. Are AnEco knives, spoons, forks and gloves self-decomposed like bags?

AnEco disposable gloves have the ability to self-decomposed in natural environment like AnEco bags. AnEco knives, spoons and forks can be 100% compostable in the industrial waste treatment condition.

11. How to preserve AnEco bags?

AnEco 100% compostable bags are best preserved in the condition that these bags are closed and kept in a place away from sunlight and moisture. AnEco bags should be stored in dry storage cabinets or regular plastic bag cabinets…

12. Can AnEco bags store fresh food and frozen food?

AnEco 100% compostable bags meet food contact standard, so they are safe to store fresh food and frozen food.

13. How to preserve AnEco cups, straws, spoons and forks? Can ants eat these products?

Because AnEco products are made from 100% compostable materials, so customers should care more about the way to preserve these products.
AnEco cups, straws, forks and spoons should be kept in unopened boxes and bags. Boxes containing products in use should be placed in a dry storage box, with little exposure to sunlight and ventilation.
These products are absolutely not eaten by ants and other insects.

14. Can AnEco bags be melted when exposed to water?

No. However, when contacting with water and moisture for a long time, the quality of AnEco bags will be reduced.

15. Does AnEco have food wrap products?

At present, An Phat has not developed AnEco 100% compostable food wraps. However, based on the requirements of the market and the potential of this segment, we are able to develop and launch food wrap products.

16. Does AnEco have straws to drink pearl milk tea?

Yes. You can buy these products in the supermarket systems that distribute AnEco products, such as Vinmart, AEON, Lotte and Big C.

17. Does AnEco have zip bags yet?

At the moment, AnEco doesn’t have zip bags, we are still researching this product.

18. Does AnEco have thicker bags to increase durability?

Currently, we are producing and offering 100% compostable bags to some partners. These bags are thicker, from 35 to 40 mic. So, we can produce bags which are thicker according to the requirements of the market.

19. Can AnEco bags store liquid food?

Yes. However, as recommended by the manufacturer, you should not store hot liquid food in AnEco thin-film bags. Because the high temperature will affect the durability of AnEco 100% compostable bags.

20. What is the difference between AnEco paper cups and ordinary ones?

AnEco paper cups are 100% compostable products. Inside the cups, there is a layer of biodegradable PLA material, not coated with PE plastic like other conventional paper cups. This difference makes AnEco paper cups be 100% compostable and more environmentally friendly than conventional paper cups.

21. In case of soaking AnEco products in hot food or boiling water, will poisoning process happen?

No, because the materials used to make AnEco spoons, forks, straws are 100% environmentally friendly and safe for users. These products have the Food Contact certificate to be allowed to use for food.

22. In case of accidentally swallowing AnEco bags, will it affect health?

Accidentally swallowing pieces of AnEco bags will not affect your health. This is similar to the case when you accidentally swallow a piece of gum.

23. What are colorings of AnEco products made from, will it affect health?

To meet the rigorous standards of certifications for 100% compostable products, the colorings for AnEco products must also be made from environmentally friendly and compostable materials and do not affect the health of consumers.

24. Expiry date of AnEco products?

The expiry date of AnEco products is depended on the type of product. However, the general expiry ranges from 1-2 years from the released date.

25. What is the difference between AnEco bags and ordinary plastic bags?

AnEco bags are 100% compostable bags which will decompose into CO2, water and humus in the natural burial environment after 6-12 months. This is completely different from conventional plastic bags which are completely non-decomposed and can survive in the environment for 500 – 1000 years.

26. How many kg does AnEco shopping bags can hold?

AnEco shopping bags can withstand a weight of 3-5kg, depending on the type.

27. How many kg does AnEco trash bags can hold?

Depending on the size of the garbage bags, AnEco large garbage bags can hold 40-50 kg of trash.

28. How many kg does AnEco food bags can hold?

AnEco food bags can withstand a weight of up to 5 kg.

29. Can AnEco paper cups contain hot water?

AnEco paper cups can containt hot water without affecting their quality.

30. How long will AnEco products decompose?

Depending on the environmental conditions for each type of product. With bags, paper cups and gloves, these products will decompose after 6-12 months under natural burial conditions. Other products will decompose within 6-12 months inindustrial waste treatment condition.

31. How are AnEco products good for the environment?

AnEco products are 100% compostable. Using these products will reduce plastic waste and also produce less CO2 than conventional plastic products. So, they are 100% eco-friendly products.