Are bioplastic containers really compostable?

Short answer: yes, under the right (however very specific) conditions. Biopolymers based on polylactic acid (PLA) made from fermented starch from potato, corn and other starchy plants are used for single-use food containers, or mixed with conventional polymers (which is not compostable) and then labeled “made from plants”, “biodegradable” or something similar. Plant-based polymers can break down under very specific conditions, which can only be found in specific industrial composting facilities, on not in home composting piles. Putting PLA based packaging back in the recycling stream is also problematic, since it contaminates standard plastic in the recycling facility.

Talk to our Experts on sustainability if you have any questions.

Picture Credit Susanne Kuehne

Posted on 25 August 2021