You’ll hear from some companies that their products are compostable or recyclables to make them seem ecofriendly and/or greenwash their brand to make them seem less wasteful. While we know most plastic or waste is not recyclable or is wishful recycling the majority goes into a landfill. What about the compostable items? Is It better for the environment or is it just a buzzword? Let’s find out.
What does it mean when an item is compostable?
Let’s break it down. According to teapigs compostable items will break down completely into nontoxic components that don’t harm the environment, given the right conditions. This means there has to be a perfect balance of water, bacteria, soil, and various organisms to help break down the material. It’s not something that just “happens” it’s not biodegradable which are materials that break down naturally regardless of the environment. Anything can be biodegradable but everything isn’t compostable.
How Do You Know If An Item Is Compostable
In order for an item to be labeled as compostable, it has to biodegrade by 90% within 90 days. It also can not harm the environment in the process, as in, it can’t leak toxic chemicals or harmful gasses into the air. You can usually find out on the bottom of the container for; plastic you want to look for the number 7 inside of the triangle of chasing arrows. The actual symbol for compostable items is threaded through leaf. Keep in mind some, items aren’t suitable for your home compost.
Is It Good For The Environment?
By definition yes, composting is great for the environment anything that will keep waste out of the landfill is amazing. BUT! Let’s not start wishful composting and letting the companies start using composting as a buzzword. Luckily, it’s something that is preventable and can/is easily regulated. Since it has to mostly degrade within 90 days you can easily call out all their bull if it’s not. Just make sure that you have a healthy compost, it turns properly, and you’re composting the right items.
Overall, composting is a great way to help the environment and reduce the waste in landfills and harmful toxins in the environment. I actually have a small compost on my balcony I use for my kitchen scraps and a few waste items that I have. It’s fun and easy and produces great soil for my plants! I hope you’ve found this article helpful and I look forward to seeing you in the future.