Compostable Plastics Are Compostable — But Not at Home


This summer, as you sip on iced coffee and picnic in the great outdoors, check your plastic cups, plates and utensils for the terms “biodegradable” and “compostable” or the BPI logo. Don’t toss these bioplastics in the recycling — biodegradable and compostable plastics aren’t recyclable.

Don’t try to compost these items at home, either. Bioplastics are designed to withstand heat and liquid, so they won’t break down fully. For example, think of the last time you used a compostable plastic spoon to eat hot soup — these plastics need an industrial composter to be broken down appropriately. Find an industrial composter here. If you can’t compost them industrially, toss them in the trash.

And remember: Reusable items are always more eco-friendly than recyclable or compostable ones, so reduce your use of disposable products whenever possible. Investing in a travel mug and travel utensils can prevent a lot of unnecessary consumption.