From compostable forks to biodegradable straws, the rise of new materials promise a more sustainable (and sexy) future. When composted properly, certified compostable materials breakdown into organic elements instead of polluting our environment, like their predecessor, petroleum-based plastic.
Borvo Broth packaging made with certified compostable materials. Composting this packaging reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and beyond, and instead creates a valuable resource for gardening. Here’s what you need to know about composting, and how to compost in the “right conditions.”
What is Composting?
Composting is a natural process that turns organic matter into rich, fertile soil. The composting process is powered by microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, which feast on organic matter and convert it into humus—no, not hummus, though we can all dream. The process typically takes at least a month and when finished the compost looks like a dark, crumbly, earthy-smelling material. You can and should add compost to your garden to enhance your soil’s structure, water-holding capacity, and nutrients.
One of the challenges of composting is figuring out what you can and can’t compost. If you want to compost biodegradable packaging, it's important to understand what the packaging is made of and how it will break down. Some biodegradable plastics are made from starch and will decompose quickly, while others are made from more complex materials that take longer to break down. Check if the packaging is third-party certified, such as BPI, or complies with industry standards EN13432 and ASTM D6400, which means that lab testing confirmed that the material will break down in certain conditions within a specific time period. Brovo Broth wrappers are made using materials that are certified with the EN and ASTM standard.
How to Compost
There are three main options to compost organic materials: curbside composting, at-home composting, or community composting. The best choice for you will depend on where you live and how much time you want to spend.Curbside Composting
- An increasing number of cities across the United States offer curbside composting. It’s quick, easy, and cost effective. Residents collect organic matter in a bin which is picked up by a waste hauler weekly and transported to a municipal composting facility. These facilities process large volumes of compost with the optimal temperature and moisture. This option is the least time consuming and only requires that you collect organic materials. You can check if your city offers composting services here: https://greenblue.org/work/compostingaccess/. If your city doesn’t offer it, consider encouraging your local leaders to do so.
- You can also compost at home. To compost at home, you’ll need to dedicate an area outside for a compost pile or bin. There are many types of compost bins available online or you can build your own using simple materials like wood pallets and wire mesh. There are a ton of DIY guides available online, here’s one from the EPA: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home.
- If you live in a city that does not offer composting services yet, you may live near local composters who accepts organic matter from community members. In addition to collecting organic materials, this option requires your time to transport the materials to a local collector. To match with a local soil maker, check out https://www.makesoil.org/map.
Composting is a great way to reduce waste and improve soil health, all while keeping the environment clean. Borvo Broth’s compostable packaging supports a sexy earth.