Compostable Cups, Plates, Bowls, & Utensils

Compost

Updated on August 27, 2019

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Instructions

Make sure that the items are labeled BPI "compostable" and put them in the green (compost) bin. If labeled "biodegradable","bioplastic", or anything else, put them in the gray cart (landfill).

Alternatives

Use reusable cups, plates, and utensils instead. When you do buy single-use items, look for 100% recycled content, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified or paper or wooden options.

Facts

In general, compostable waste products have a lifetime of a year before they breakdown and are picked out of commercial composters because they look like plastics. Unfortunately, even compostable cups (made of plastic-looking material, not paper) are not actually composted because of they are removed before spending enough time in the composter. "Biodegradable" waste products have a one year or longer breakdown requirement and are intended for deposit in landfill, where they do not add to the toxicity of the site.

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