‘It’s greenwash’: most home compostable plastics don’t work, says study – UK

Posted on November 4, 2022 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News


compostable plastic bag in compost heap

Materials put into domestic compost are failing to disintegrate after six months – the only solution is to use less.

“The bottom line is that home compostable plastics don’t work,” said Prof Mark Miodownik, an author of the paper, published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainability. “Let’s just stop. Let’s not pretend to ourselves that it’s going to be some sort of panacea, and you can sell people stuff without really having infrastructure to deal with the waste and hope that it’s all going to go away.”

The study showed that most of the plastic that people put in their home compost shouldn’t be there anyway. Researchers found 14% of plastic packaging items were certified “industrially compostable” and 46% have no compostable certification (for example they could be “100% biodegradable”, which typically means it cannot be composted).

People are confused by the labels, and struggle to work out what goes where, yet 85% of people remain enthusiastic about buying compostable plastics, the report said.

IT should be noted too that compostable materials are not recyclable either.  They perpetuate the liner economy.  Use less is the only option.