Compostable plastics disposal and recycling

When you have compostable plastics, it can be incredibly difficult to establish exactly how to remove them from your property, and dispose of the waste. After all, you want to be environmentally conscious without doing more damage to the plants in your garden. Read on to learn how to dispose of compostable plastics, and what they can do for your garden.

compostable recycling

Who invented compostable plastics?

Compostable plastics were invented by a teenager named Angelina Arora. She has won multiple science and engineering awards as a result of her breakthrough, which removes the dangers of single-use plastics by converting them to more renewable resources.

What are they made from and how are they made?

Compostable plastics are created from prawn shells. Thanks to the use of organic rather than synthetic materials, it decomposes almost a million times faster than using typical plastics that are created from fossil fuels.

After the initial breakthrough was made with prawn shells, several compostable plastic products have been developed making use of other organic materials, such as corn, potato, soy and even lactic acid. All of these are highly pressurised and then moulded into the shape required for the packaging, to be disposed of once the product is consumed.

Compostable plastic disposal

Compostable plastic is broken down in soil and compost, but this is only possible in temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. As the plastics are able to break down in a microplastic free manner, the compost remains completely safe for works and other organisms to live in after the composting process is completed.

The composting process can take between two and four months in a compost bin depending on the temperature, water content, access from light and gas composition within the compost. After this, it can be used to fertilise your garden and help your plants to grow into the future.

Problems with compostable plastic waste

One of the issues with compostable plastic waste is that it can often take a long time to break down, and can therefore take up far more space in your compost bin than you are happy with. After all, your compost bin only has a limited volume, and spending all-important space on a large supply of compostable plastic can be something of a waste when there are plenty of old vegetables and fruit you haven’t eaten that can offer almost immediate nutrients to your compost.

Alternatives to compostable plastics

This is difficult to establish as compostable plastics effectively are the alternative to traditional plastics. As traditional plastics were leading to the deaths of marine life and the continued pollution of the planet, compostable plastics were developed to offer manufacturers an alternative that wouldn’t cause excessive damage to the world around us.

The only true alternative to compostable plastics is degradable plastics. However, these often lead to microplastic pollution, and can still take centuries to fully break down. This leaves compostable plastics as the best option for modern packaging.

Facts about compostable plastics

– Compostable plastics do not go with recyclable plastic. This is because the recycling process would be ruined by combining the two, eliminating the benefits of both.

– These plastics can be just as strong as traditional plastics, offering a high tensile strength. However, they are rarely ideal for plastics that need to be rigid.

– Compostable plastics do not contribute to biogas, so you don’t need to worry about adding to greenhouse gas emissions when you use compostable plastics.

– These bags are also compostable in marine environments, so they won’t cause damage to sea life in the long term.

Where can you take these items to recycle/dispose of them for free?

You can dispose of compostable plastics for free in any compost bin. There are no specific requirements or disposal needs, however, you will need the permission of the compost bin owner as they may throw away any plastics on the assumption that they won’t turn to compost.

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