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Has anyone used gelatin for packaging soaps?

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Astro

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Hi
With Christmas coming, I am wanting to create attractive biodegradable see-through packaging for gifting my soaps. My idea is to create a base box of card with a clear tuck-in see-through lid. The concept of the tuck in lid works (see pic), but the biodegradable part is where I am struggling. I can get acetate/vellum but that is incredibly pricey, so I wondered if I could use gelatin film (like bakers use). I like the idea but do not know what the pH would do to the gelatin - would I end up with a gloopy gunk all over my soap in hot humid conditions, would the pH affect the gelatin and melt it?
Unfortunately there isn't enough time between now and Christmas to test the concept over the long term. Does anyone have any thoughts on the subject?
Apologies if this post is in the wrong place, it was the only forum I could see where it would fit as I am making lye-based soaps.
Thanks for your help.
 

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Dawni

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I don't think it's so much the pH but the heat and humidity that affects this type of gelatin film.. I've seen it on cakes. That's the one right? They make windows n stuff?

If that's the one.... It will melt when it absorbs water. So unless you're 100% sure it won't then I wouldn't suggest it as a cover. You might end up with no cover lol. It'll melt onto the top of your soap and while I don't think it'll affect it - you can wash it off I think - it won't look nice.

My two cents, although I've not tried using nor making nor receiving anything with this kind of packaging. I'm thinking it IS because its always humid where I am lol
 

Arimara

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What about biodegradable "plastic" film? Made from corn, I think. Would that satisfy? Looks like there's at least one such company in your part of the world: https://biodegradable.co.za/good-for-the-ground/
As long as it's compostable and it will break down with out specialized assistance, that looks pretty good. A lot of people are quick to jump on the biodegradable band wagon without thinking about the whole process. The more obscure train of thought is "is there a difference between biodegradable and compostable?" In any case, thanks for posting the link.
 

Astro

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Thank you for all the responses

If that's the one.... It will melt when it absorbs water. So unless you're 100% sure it won't then I wouldn't suggest it as a cover. You might end up with no cover lol. It'll melt onto the top of your soap and while I don't think it'll affect it - you can wash it off I think - it won't look nice.

My two cents, although I've not tried using nor making nor receiving anything with this kind of packaging. I'm thinking it IS because its always humid where I am lol
That is exactly what my worry is as we do have high humidity in some areas of our region.
What about biodegradable "plastic" film? Made from corn, I think. Would that satisfy? Looks like there's at least one such company in your part of the world: https://biodegradable.co.za/good-for-the-ground/
The biodegradable film is made mainly from sugarcane but also from corn, and other plant products, here in South Africa. The film is extremely costly so far in my searching and I am waiting on replies from that website which lists a number of suppliers.
As long as it's compostable and it will break down with out specialized assistance, that looks pretty good. A lot of people are quick to jump on the biodegradable band wagon without thinking about the whole process.
Unfortunately, you are so right on this. Compostable is an overused and mostly incorrect word as the majority of bioplastics are only compostable in specialised, industrial units that can break it down into its original chemical components. I was really surprised, when I started researching this, that most products that say compostable cannot be put on your home compost heap (most compostable coffee cups, milk cartons etc can only be composted in industrial machines)
The more obscure train of thought is "is there a difference between biodegradable and compostable?" In any case, thanks for posting the link.
I was reading that biodegradable should mean that it breaks down in soil, sea and fresh water, as well as air; and compostable should mean it will break down in normal soil conditions as any other bio-matter would. A study carried out over a number of years found that very few plastic bags labelled either compostable or biodegradable actually did what they said. Most that did biodegrade turned into microbeads which is actually worse in the long run as they cannot be controlled

Please forgive any inaccuracies in my precis of the biodegradable and compostable science as I wrote this from memory after an information overload
 

Arimara

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@Astro I get it. I just feel if they're going to try and roll out these types of plastics, they need to have more facilities available to actually handle them. Otherwise, they're making money off a potentially bigger problem.
 

Kiwi2:)

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Hi there -

I'm interested in this issue too - biodegradability is a big issue here in New Zealand also :)

I found that cellulose cellophane was a pretty good alternative for my bar products and cupcakes, etc. It is able to be heat sealed, is nicely transparent (slight yellow tinge but not noticeable when packed) and may be home composted. It does seem to keep products well too - my bath bomb cupcakes were absolutely fine for more than six months using that option (held one back to trial).

While it is a more expensive option than conventional plastics, I've found that if I get the larger size bags I can break them down into more economic units using my heat sealer. Just a thought :)
 

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