Compostable products and kitchenware are the latest in green-technology following on the footsteps of the recycling eco-trend. With the aim of replacing sustainable alternatives materials with raw materials that have added value in composting, these products will change the way we look at recycling methods.
Getting into compostable products is daunting and unfamiliar for most, which is why we are going to explore the range of products available to us today. We will be looking into the key features of compostable products, how you can get them and what can you do with them after you have used them!
The difference between Compostable and Biodegradable
When we discuss “compostable”, it is very common to encounter, in the same conversation, the term “biodegradable”. Though these two applications have great eco-friendly benefits, they are as different from each other as recyclables are from non-recyclables. Here are the reasons why.
Biodegradable means that a product or material can be decomposed by bacteria safely and leaves no harmful chemicals or compounds behind upon degrading. This means that a biodegradable product will not create any pollutants, therefore does not cause pollution.
Composting, however, means that something can be broken down into natural elements in a composting element. This results in compost that is beneficial to planting grounds by adding and retaining nutrients, holding moisture and even enriching it with healthy bacterias.
Between these two types of product categories, one creates no harm and no benefit to the environment whereas the other is capable of reducing itself into beneficial components that rejuvenates the ground that it is used on.
That is the key difference between compostable and biodegradable. If you are looking to explore green technology that is beneficial, then compostable products are the way to go. In fact, the easiest place to start is by replacing food ware with compostable ones.
Purchasing compostable tableware
Foodservice ware is basically the various utensils you use either domestically or those found in restaurants and takeaways. Plates, cutleries, straws and even food boxes are the most common of these wares and the majority of them are made of plastic.
Purchasing and utilizing compostable tableware products simply means a conversion towards food ware that will benefit the environment when they are disposed of correctly.
One such brand that provides quality compostable kitchenware is Green Compostables. A large quantity supplier that provides a wide range of compostable wares for all your foodservice needs.
Their Bamboo Powder Straw for example, is made of compressed bamboo flakes or bamboo powder. Bamboo powder is 100% compostable, even when using a home-based composting system.
Another product you can consider is the compostable plates and bowls, a key component in any foodservice business. Green Compostables’ plates and bowls are 100% compostable, providing a nature-benefiting alternative to plastic or biodegradable food ware.
Finally, you may also consider the utensils that are compostable. Fully compostable spoons, forks and knives that will fully replace the use of plastic utensils are safer to use as plastic utensils are quite ineffective and dangerous when broken.
The Green Compostables alternative to this provides a safe and eco-friendly set of products that will make a change in your food service for the better.
What do you do with compostable items after use?
Upon taking the first step into integrating compostable food ware into your life, the next step is to realize what you are to do with these compostable items after they are used. Are your eco products biodegradable?
How do I take the compostable items that I have used in my food service business and convert them into resources that will be beneficial for usage?
The answer is both simple and complicated at the same time as there are procedures that must be taken for composting to be achieved. There are also important criteria and conditions for it to be done properly!
The process of composting requires a dedicated space with the right type of treatment conditions in order for composting to be achieved.
One specific criterion is the need for relatively high temperatures to ensure that composting occurs and also a biological environment that is conducive for compositing to take place.
With all that said, the easiest thing you can do with your compostable items is to have it sent to a commercial or industrial composting facility.
The first thing you should do is to check if there is such a facility in your city or vicinity. Once you have done so, getting in touch with the facility to check if they receive the product that you would like to have composted will be crucial.
This is because not all composting facilities receive all forms of compostable products. By checking to ensure that they are product-compliant, it will save you time and effort delivering your compostables to the correct facility.
Alternatively, you can choose to explore composting your compostables using your own composting setup. However, this will require very specific conditions to be created within your composting bin.
Depending on the type of product and raw material that you are dealing with, you will have to check on the composting requirements which can be found from their respective manufacturers.
Once you have secured the necessary information, following through with recreating the correct composting environments will allow you to turn your compostable products into usable compost.
How do I dispose of compostable products?
One other major player recently brought up in compostable products are compostable packaging. One of the most commonly found forms of these products would be food packaging such as those used for fruits, vegetables and even meat.
As these are such common products in the market, we would like to help you discover how you can better dispose of them.
Similar to regular composting products, the easiest way for you to dispose of compostable packaging is by sending it to your local commercial or industrial composting facility. This will be the most time and energy efficient way of doing this as you will not need to have your own composting setup.
However, if you’d like to achieve higher eco-responsibility by composting your packaging yourself, you can do so by setting up your own compost bin.
A compost bin is pretty simple in its concept but will require regular attention from you to ensure effective composting.
All you need to start is some garden space and a compost bin which you can easily source from your local hardware store.
Once you have prepared your compost bin, you can throw in your compostable packaging with your other compost food wastes. You can also throw in your pets’ waste.
It is also important to note that composting yourself will take a much longer time as compared to industrial composting. With such a minimal setup, you can expect your composting process to take from three months and upwards of two years before you arrive at a compost that is useful for your garden.
Guide to purchasing compostable products and foodservice ware and other compostable products
This process could not be easier and we’d like to share with you two simple things you can identify as you move ahead into using compostable products in replacing your kitchenware.
The first thing to take note is the raw material that is used in manufacturing the product. As every compostable product will hopefully end up in the ground, check to see that the raw material used is relevant and helpful to the composting process. This will ensure that you are able to compost it yourself or through commercial processes.
Two of the most common raw materials used in the current market are natural fibres or paper products and wood-based products. Both these raw materials are the most common simply because they are the easiest to source and also easiest to compost.
You should however, take note of their manufacturing and also if they are coated or uncoated materials. Some manufacturers do use films on their products to achieve some degree of water-repellency and durability.
The second item to note is the certification and compliance level of the product.
A simple online search will help you discover the local compliances that a product must have in order to pass as compostable. These compliances and regulations will typically have an official marking stamped on the product packaging once the products are recognized and certified to have passed required conditions and even tests.
If you are able to identify these companies then nothing should stop you from purchasing said products.
Making a change towards using compostable products and kitchen ware is a great way to be more environmentally responsible whether at a personal or commercial level. In order to do that effectively however, having knowledge on how composting works from the perspective of compostable products is indispensable. It’s a learning curve that every person exploring compostable products should be excited to take on as you learn to make changes for a healthier environment.