A Guide For Checking the Compostability

Author: Manish Dhasmana Time: 30-11-2021 06:51:04

As the awareness towards plastic pollution and its adverse effects grows, so do the misconceptions about plastic alternatives. The leading cause of the latter is lack of information available about identifying and choosing the authentic compostable alternatives that do not have the same repercussions as traditional plastic. A guide like such helps to tick off all boxes when it comes to choosing safe and hazard free plastic alternatives.

“While traditional plastics are often recycled, compostable plastics do not need the same administration as they can completely break down under semi regulated or natural environments.”

Image Via: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/

The process of sorting through various types of plastic depends on the treatment they are to receive at the end of their lifecycle, and is crucial in maintaining the health of our planet and keeping it free of plastic pollution. While traditional plastics are often recycled, compostable plastic products do not need the same administration as they can break down under 100% semi regulated or natural environments. Every standardised plastic product usually bears a label to denote the above categories so laymen and shoppers can dispose of their plastic waste responsibly.

“Identifying Labels Is The Key”
“Every standardized plastic product usually bears a label to denote the above categories so laymen and shoppers can dispose of their plastic waste responsibly”

Labels indicating the nature of plastic and compostability may vary from country to country. These are some exemplary images hinting at the diverse nature of labels used by regulations across the globe. Compostable Packaging produced and bought locally from trusted sources should be used as a benchmark to identify the official compostability labels in your region.

Compostable Plastics can further be divided into two categories, namely home compostable and compostable. It is crucial to keep the two distinct labels in mind so that one does not rely on a domestic environment for compostable plastic bags to break down. Such products would require industrial composting facilities where the environment is regulated for these plastics to break down completely within a reasonable span of time. On the other hand, products bearing the ‘home compostable’ symbol are best treated at home and do not require industrial treatment. Usually, plant based bags made using components such as corn starch belong in this category, and leave behind biomass once they break down completely.

(L)Image Via: Wikipedia, (R)Image Via: https://mcgillcompost.com/

PLA Code 7
‘Green’ Plastics get their compostable nature due to use of Polylactic Acid or PLA which is a plant based material and generally 100% compostable. Recycling Number 7 on any plastic product is indicative of it’s PLA base and denotes that it is an ‘other plastic’. However, the number solely cannot confirm that the product is a compostable one, hence it is advisable to look out for letters ‘PLA’ on the product as well.

The Right Dustbin For your Waste
In order to dispose of plastic waste responsibility, it is also crucial to comprehend what color coded disposal systems mean. A green dustbin is meant for biodegradable and wet waste, denoting that compostable bags belong in them. Blue Dustbins on the other hand are meant for discarding traditional plastics and wrappers which are non biodegradable in nature. Yellow Dustbins are meant for glass and paper whereas red dustbins are for hazardous domestic waste such as used bandages and cottons.

Image Via: https://www.bigbasket.com/

The existence and knowledge of such comprehensive labels and color coded systems ensures that all waste is managed and treated appropriately for maintenance of a safe and pollution free environment.


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