Composting: The Superior Eco-Friendly Option
If you ask someone how they help protect the environment, it wouldn’t be surprising if they said, “I recycle!” Purchasing and using recyclable products is great for the environment, but recycling can be ineffective when put into practice.
According to the Greenpeace USA report1, of the 51 million tons of plastic waste produced by US households in 2021, only 5%, which equals around 2.4 million tons, were recycled. Several factors influence this unsettlingly low recycling rate, but ultimately, the improper disposal and contamination of recyclable materials has resulted in a low recycling rate.
If you’re worried about how you can do your part to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle, have no fear; composting is here to save the day. Using and adequately disposing of compostable products helps the environment and is a more eco-friendly alternative to recycling.
Wait, I Thought Recycling Was Good for The Environment?
Recycling is still a great way to help the environment, but it is only helpful if your products are disposed of properly. Cross-contamination is a major culprit in the low recycling rate. For example, if a non-recyclable or contaminated food container ends up in a recycling bin2, it can prevent mass amounts of products from being recycled. Or, if someone throws away a recyclable product or packaging in the trash, it ends up in a landfill. Once incinerated, it produces harmful methane gas, a leading contributor to climate change3.
Composting Is Key
Despite the many benefits of recycling, the cross-contamination and improper disposal of products can hinder its positive environmental impact. Fortunately, purchasing compostable products is a great alternative to recyclable products.
What’s composting, you ask? Composting is a type of biodegradability that occurs under proper conditions, typically spurred by human intervention. Specific temperatures, microbial levels, and environments4 are necessary for anaerobic respiration, allowing heat, humidity, and microorganisms to break materials down into organic waste.
Compared to traditional plastics, compostable products are not affected by food residue5 and waste and will decompose under the right conditions. If a plastic food container has food waste, you do not have to worry about it not being composted, giving you peace of mind.
The Environmental Benefits of Composting
You may wonder, how do compostable products help combat the climate crisis? Compostable PLA products6 are made from renewable resources like plant materials and corn starch. Since PLA products can be composted with food waste, it allows us to collect more biowaste, diverting it from landfills.
These products are turned into high-quality compost used for agricultural processes and improve overall soil quality when decomposed7. Higher soil quality reduces our need for harmful chemical fertilizers contaminating our run-off water supply.
Plus, as more people and businesses embrace compostable product packaging and products, we are improving on our plastic waste inefficiencies and reducing our carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
Composting helps contribute to a circular economy, helping us work toward a healthier, more environmentally friendly world.
Composting Is the Future
We’re not saying we need to abandon purchasing and using recyclable products. Recycling is still an amazing way to help protect our planet and resources. We caution that without properly disposing of your items, your efforts to be sustainable may be in vain, and no one wants that.
Protecting our planet's health and safety is of utmost importance, and composting is just another way we can live a greener lifestyle. Check out all of our compostable products here!
1 - “Circular Claims Fall Flat Again.” Greenpeace, 24 October 2022, https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/reports/circular-claims-fall-flat-again/. Accessed 17 November 2022.
2 - Cho, Renee. “Recycling in the U.S. Is Broken. How Do We Fix It?” State of the Planet, 13 March 2020, https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2020/03/13/fix-recycling-america/. Accessed 17 November 2022.
3 - Vasarhelyi, Kayla. “The Hidden Damage of Landfills | Environmental Center.” University of Colorado Boulder, 15 April 2021, https://www.colorado.edu/ecenter/2021/04/15/hidden-damage-landfills. Accessed 17 November 2022.
4 - “Biodegradable vs. Compostable: What's the Difference?” Green Paper Products, 11 August 2022, https://greenpaperproducts.com/blog/biodegradable-vs-compostable. Accessed 17 November 2022.
5 - Buijzen, Floris et.al. “The advantages of compostable bioplastics for the circular economy.” Total Corbion, 14 February 2022, https://www.totalenergies-corbion.com/media/drkkiy2i/whitepaper-the-advantages-of-compostable-bioplastics-for-a-circular-economy.pdf. Accessed 17 November 2022.
6 - “What is PLA? - Green Paper Products.” Green Paper Products, https://greenpaperproducts.com/blog/what-is-pla. Accessed 17 November 2022.
7 - Buijzen, Floris et.al. “The advantages of compostable bioplastics for the circular economy.” Total Corbion, 14 February 2022, https://www.totalenergies-corbion.com/media/drkkiy2i/whitepaper-the-advantages-of-compostable-bioplastics-for-a-circular-economy.pdf. Accessed 17 November 2022.