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A Message About Our Cutlery

Plant Starch (PSM) Cutlery is NOT COMPOSTABLE

We've been trying to communicate clearly about Plant Starch Material (PSM) cutlery since late 2009, but recent media attention including an article in the Burlington Free Press convinced us that we need to renew our efforts.

In that article, a Plant Starch spoon from one of our competitors is shown as having not composted after spending the required time in a commercial compost system. That's not surprising since plastic fillers are required to strengthen plant starch resin so it performs adequately in use. What is surprising is that the spoon was sold to the University of Vermont as compostable. There are companies wrongly selling Plant Starch as compostable and/or embossing a company name that has a confusing term like "biodegradable" in it, making it difficult for food service operations to know the truth.

The truth is that there is NO PLANT STARCH CUTLERY available that passes the ASTM D6400 test for compostability. There is no plant starch cutlery certified to be compostable by BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute), the primary independent testing agency involved in compostable certifications in the USA.

If You Use Plant Starch Cutlery:

  • If you are using our Plant Starch (PSM) products and you are NOT sending them to a commercial composter in your community, please rest assured that you are still making a good choice for the environment by using a product made from 70% renewable resources, reducing the consumption of the non-renewable fossil fuels required to make conventional plastic cutlery.
  • If you are using any of our Plant Starch products (EP-S001, EP-S002, EP-S003, EP-S005), and you are sending these products to a commercial composter in your community, PLEASE STOP. They will not break down, and will remain intact in any compost pile regardless of climate or process.
  • If you need compostable cutlery, please switch to our Plantware® products (EP-S011, EP-S012, EP-S013), which are the only 100% renewable, compostable utensils certified by BPI and Cedar Grove for composting in commercial facilities. They also have the highest heat tolerance (200°F) in the market for certified compostable utensils.

If you have any questions at all about either of our cutlery options, please don't hesitate to consult your Eco-Products sales representative, or contact Wendell Simonson at wendell@ecoproducts.com

Thank you very much for your attention.

- the Eco-Products Staff