Composters don’t want plastic

It is extraordinary how many politicians who are concerned about plastic persisting in the open environment are being persuaded by aggressive marketing to choose “compostable” plastic, tested (according to ASTM D6400 or EN13432) to biodegrade in an industrial composting facility, instead of plastic tested to ASTM D6954 to biodegrade in the open environment. This makes even less sense where there are no industrial composting facilities in the country or locality concerned.  Perhaps they are also unaware that “compostable” plastic is not recyclable and does not convert into compost, but converts instead into CO2.

Now it seems that even the industrial composters and local authorities don’t want “compostable” plastic.

There is a really important report from the State of Oregon, USA link in which the industrial composters of Oregon give nine specific reasons and say “Compostable” packaging and service-ware items have been on the rise for the past decade and they are increasingly ending up in our facilities.”

“These materials compromise our composting programs and limit many of the environmental benefits of successful composting…..  Not only do compostable products often cost more to purchase, they also drive up the costs to operate our facilities and impede our ability to sell finished compost. Compostable packaging is promoted as a means of achieving “zero waste” goals but it burdens composters (and recyclers) with materials that harm our ability to efficiently process recovered materials.”

“See also SUEZ  WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY – Click to read

NETHERLANDS – 1) Click to read, 2) Click to read, and 3) Click to read

UK- EXETERClick to read

UK – EPSOM & EWELL – link  Their website says “When you use plastic bags in your food waste caddy you’re simply using them to contain the food, and keep your caddy clean. They don’t get recycled.  In fact, the first thing that happens when your food waste gets to the recycling plant is the plastic bags are all dredged out. They’re sent off for burning along with normal refuse to generate electricity. After that, the food waste can be recycled.”

“We used to ask you to use bio-liners to line your food waste caddy, but the food waste recycling companies found that bio-liners compost down much more slowly than the food. That slowed the recycling process and made it much more expensive.  They tried dredging the bio-liners out of the food waste, but the sticky bio-liners got tangled around the dredging equipment. Cleaning them off was very expensive. So they found that using plastic bags was, overall, much more cost-effective. They’re not recycled but good stuff still happens to them. And you can use old bags like bread-bags or carrier bags if you like.”

CANADA -TORONTO Click to read 


Michael Stephen | ‘Compostables’ have no place in the circular economy – Click to read

Compostable Plastics Are Not Circular – Click to read

21 Reasons – Click to read