If a product says it’s COMPOSTABLE and sometimes that is all it says, check to see if its Home Compostable or Industrial Compostable.
Home Compostable materials are designed to break down in backyard composting systems. Home composting occurs at a much lower temperature and over a longer time than industrial composting.
Industrial Compostable materials require specific conditions found in large-scale composting facilities. Industrial composting may be complete in a matter of weeks.
For an item that needs to be industrially composted it needs to get to the industrial composting facility, and this needs the engagement of a 3rd party company, if we as consumers put the item in our landfill bin it won’t be sorted at the landfill and sent to an industrial composting facility.
When compostable products end up in a landfill, they needs to be exposed to moisture, oxygen and bacteria in order to biodegrade. If it does not get exposed to these conditions, it will continue to exist in the landfill for a VERY long time.
In Australia, there are currently around 150 commercial or industrial composting facilities. I would say that most compostable packaging products are ending up in rubbish bins and landfills.
With compostable products they also need to be certified. The certification indicates that the product has been independently tested and has been verified to break down completely in a compost facility after use. So look out for the certification logo.
Get in touch with companies and ask them about their packaging, is it home compostable, is it certified compostable, how long does it take to break down and ask them to provide clear disposal instructions 🙌
[Recycling is a huge subject, nothing is black and white, no one product is perfect]
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