Composting – Fact & Fiction

Before you toss that cup, carton, or food packaging in your backyard composting pile, read the fine print.  Most packaging products that are certified compostable are not designed to degrade in your backyard compost pile.  Most compostable packaging, today, is designed for Industrial Composting facilities.  There are 5 different types of Industrial Composting methods and they are all very particular on what types of products they will accept. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the only composting method for most paper packaging is the aerated static pile method. With this method, compost is mixed in a static pile with constant airflow. This method is more costly than others and requires constant supervision. Fans must always be on and the temperature and moisture must be regulated.

In most cases composting is reserved for organic materials such as yard waste, however more and more industrial composting facilities are exploring food waste as a feed stock. Taking food waste can be tricky as food contaminated packaging is often mixed in the food waste stock.  Food packaging that is not compostable is viewed as contamination. It will not break down in the process and will have to be landfilled. 

Hands holding dirt.

Our FlexSHIELD coating is both BNQ and EU 13342 certified compostable. Until the time that more packaging is certified compostable and more widely accepted, recycling your packaging materials is your best alternative.

 Find your closest composter here.

Bans on single-use plastics:

  1. Seattle bans plastic straws, utensils
  2. N.H. Senate Blocks Bills To Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags, Straws

Scott signs bill banning single-use plastic bags in Vermont