Green Tip {Tuesday}

Treat your biodegradable products right. More and more biodegradable products, such as plates and cutlery, are available in stores. This is helpful because most plastics are made from petroleum, a non renewable resource. What most people don't understand is that in order for your biodegradable products to actually biodegrade {that is break down into smaller pieces} you must provide the right environment, which is unlikely in a landfill or even your household compost. These products are fairly stable {which makes the products useful} so they should be sent to a commercial composting facility. Call your local waste management company to learn if this is a option in your community. Do not mix them with your regular plastics to be recycled. If your community doesn't offer a commercial compost facility you should just dispose of them with your usual garbage.

You may wonder why you should still consider buying biodegradables if you can't properly dispose of them. By buying products that aren't made with petroleum you are voting with your dollars for more of these kinds of products. A tip--look for products that are entirely bio based, or are labeled biodegradable AND compostable.



Dean Rodgers said...

This is a great point. However, it is slightly incorrect to say they won't biodegrade in a landfill. In fact, chances are good that they will. HOWEVER, when they do break down in a landfill, it will be through an anaerobic decomposition process, which produces methane (an explosive greenhouse gas). By composting,they break down via aerobic decomposition. This does not produce methane.

I represent StalkMarket (one of the leading producers of Earth friendly disposable tableware). StalkMarket is a huge advocate of municipal composting. We jus wrote about this very issue on the StalkMarket blog. Check it out here: