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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.

Biodegradable and compostable can be confusing terms. Technically, both words define biological processes, but they have become prevalent marketing terms as well. This tends to blur the difference between the two, which is understandably confusing!

Biodegradation is a larger natural process that can happen in a number of ways, including composting. Composting is very specific process that happens only in situations with the right microorganisms and environmental conditions – and it creates humus, water, and heat. Other biodegradation processes do not make humus, which is an important part of soils.

Other things "biodegrade" in different ways, such as in water, with sunlight, heat, or even chemicals, but compostable products breakdown (or biodegrade) into compost through the composting process only.

Our products are certified compostable by a third-party organization called BPI and they meet the strict ASTM composting standards for each material type. That's why our products are labeled "compostable" and not "biodegradable". In the US, the Federal Trade Commission publishes a "Green Guide" that outlines the rules for environmental marketing claims. It is our go-to guide to avoid greenwashing and the reason we do not label our items as 'biodegradable". Unfortunately the term 'biodegradable' has no strict legal definition, so look for the words "BPI Certified" to ensure your compostable item meets the best standards for compostability.

Learn More FTC Green Guide

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

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