The struggle is real to figure out what compostable items can be tossed in a backyard compost bin and what items need to go to an industrial composting site. This article outlines a list of our favorite compostable items on the market you can toss in your backyard compost bin.
Wait! Aren't all compostable products compostable in my compost bin?
Yes and no.
Technically all compostable products will break down in the presence of oxygen and microbes.
The problem is that it will take a very long time for compostable plastics to break down in your backyard compost bin. Bioplastics are better off being sent to a commercial scale or industrial compost site.
If you throw compostable plastic into your backyard compost bin, it will mostly likely take over a year to break down.
It is better to skip the compostable cups when you are out and about. Try to bring your own cups instead!
Compostable Products that break down in a backyard compost bin
While bioplastics take a while to break down and don’t do well in a backyard compost pile, wax paper breaks down quickly. So does parchment paper and regular paper products.
Here are a few of our favorite compostable products that break down quickly in a backyard compost bin. This is your ultimate guide to knowing what to throw in your backyard compost pile and what to trash (or send to a commercial scale composter).
These compostable sandwich bags are great for families who send kids to school with lunches. Reusable bags are awesome until your kid loses them. Coach the kids to bring the bags back so you can toss them in your compost pile.
These bags are great because they are completely eco-friendly, meaning they are unbleached and chlorine free. Kids tend to prefer the cute ones with patterns, but I like these plain ones just as much!
Want to keep your kitchen compost pail from getting gross? These food scrap bags are the best for that! These are the bags that we personally use and encourage our customers to buy.
We love the If You Care brand of parchment paper because it is unbleached and chlorine free making it safe not only for compost but for your food.
Typical bioplastic straws don’t break down quickly in a backyard compost bin. However, these straws aren’t typical. They break down quickly because they are made from wheat.
Did you know that all coffee filters are compostable? That’s right! So is the coffee. We tend to prefer all natural unbleached filters because bleach in our coffee and compost makes us feel icky.
What compostable products shouldn't go in a Backyard compost bin?
Any product states that it should be composted in an industrial or commercial compost site should not go into your backyard compost bin.
For example, the new Ziplock compostable bags are great for a curbside compost pickup, but you shouldn’t toss them in your backyard compost bin. The box even has a picture explaining it.
What else shouldn't go in a backyard compost bin?
Skip the following compostable items:
- compostable serving ware made from bioplastics (bamboo is better, but will still take a while to break down)
- compostable plates and bowls
- compostable cups
Read this article to learn more about what can and can’t be composted.
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