Transitioning to biodegradable food containers is an excellent step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. However, to fully realize their environmental benefits, it’s vital to understand how to properly dispose of these containers. This article will guide you through the essential steps.
What Are Biodegradable Food Containers?
Biodegradable food containers are made from plant-based materials like cornstarch, sugarcane, or bamboo, which can break down naturally over time. Unlike traditional plastics that can linger in landfills for centuries, biodegradable containers decompose into non-toxic components, reducing environmental harm.
Composting at Home
One of the best ways to dispose of biodegradable food containers is composting. However, it’s essential to know whether your containers are home-compostable or industrially compostable.
Home-compostable containers break down under typical home composting conditions. Simply add them to your compost pile or bin along with your organic kitchen waste. Remember to break larger containers into smaller pieces to speed up the composting process.
Industrial Composting Facilities
For industrially compostable containers, the process is a bit more complicated. These containers require specific conditions—high temperatures, particular levels of moisture, and specific microbes—to decompose fully. These conditions are usually found in industrial composting facilities.
Check if there are industrial composting facilities in your local area where you can drop off your containers. Some areas also provide curbside pickup for compostable materials.
If composting isn’t an option, you may have to resort to landfill disposal. It’s not the ideal choice, as biodegradable containers won’t decompose efficiently in a landfill due to lack of oxygen. But it’s still better than using non-biodegradable plastic containers, which don’t break down at all.
Proper disposal of biodegradable food containers is crucial to ensure their environmental benefits. Whether composting at home, using industrial facilities, or resorting to landfill, being mindful of our disposal methods is a significant step towards a more sustainable future.
Read our guide to the best biodegradable food containers here