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Composting

Our compostable products break down in a commercial compost facility in fewer than 180days. Many of our products actually break down in as little as 45-60days, depending on the material type.

The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) uses scientifically based standards to determine if a product is compostable in a commercial facility, so look for the words "BPI Certified" on our products and you can be confident that your product will break down quickly in a commercial facility.

We recommend disposing of PLA products in a commercial compost facility where they can be broken down, turned into compost and then returned to the soil. Home composting typically does not create the consistent composting conditions needed for our products, but commercial facilities can manage just fine.

Commercial compost facilities are expanding around the country and there may be one in your area. To find a compost facility near you, please visit the US EPA website or check out Find A Composter

No, our products are not certified as marine degradable and we strongly encourage everyone to keep all plastics out of oceans and waterways. Land-based commercial compost facilities have the ability to maintain ideal composting conditions and sustained heat and moisture needed for PLA to break down entirely with the appropriate soil bacteria, yeast, and fungi.

For disposal, naturally we recommend composting if it's available, but if not, please dispose of all foodservice items responsibly. Even if these items head to the landfill, this is preferred to leaving items to escape as litter into the environment. There is still an important environmental benefit to choosing Eco-Products items over traditional foam or plastic items that contain no recycled content or renewable materials.

The terms “biodegradable” and “compostable” are not equivalent or interchangeable. “Biodegradable” simply means something will be broken down by microbes over time, which is true for most materials on the planet. An aluminum can is “biodegradable”… if you wait 200 years. Since this term applies to almost everything, it is a pretty meaningless claim and one that has been significantly abused through greenwashing. In contrast, “compostable” means something will break down in a reasonable amount of time, leave behind no toxic residue, and safely become an additive to soil.

Our products are certified compostable by a third-party organization called BPI, and they meet the strict third-party standards for each material type. That's why our products are labeled "compostable" and not "biodegradable". In the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes the "Green Guides" that outlines the rules for environmental marketing claims. All of our claims of compostability are in compliance with the FTC’s Green Guides. For more information: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/truth-advertising/green-guides

PLA items do not breakdown well in most digesters. Technology is always changing, so we hope that more digesters can work with PLA in the near future. For now, we recommend that PLA go into a land-based commercial compost facility only.

Not necessarily, PLA foodservices items will breakdown at about the same rate regardless of size (extremely large or dense items may take even more time). The composting process primarily depends on heat, moisture, and time, and even small pieces of PLA require the same conditions to start composting. Paper items may break down faster in smaller pieces, but commercial composters know their systems well and often will chop material into the ideal size for their needs.

Our compostable products are made from sugarcane and Ingeo, both of which break down best in commercial compost facilities only. Soil and water are relatively cold environments that do not allow Ingeo to become biodegradable and break down. The compost process itself starts the biodegradation for Ingeo itself. Paper and bagasse also compost best in this scenario.

Retail shelves similarly do not provide an environment with the right composting conditions for these products to break down, so these maintain their integrity until they interact with composting microorganisms.

Learn more directly from our Ingeo manufacturer NatureWorks http://www.natureworksllc.com/FAQs