When I search about recycling compostable packaging I always find articles about recycling packages to the backyard pit etc. My question is not about that. I just want to throw compostable packaging away. The question is: where? Does it go together with plastics? Or should it better go with unsorted waste?

  • Welcome to Sustainable Living! Do you know what the packaging is made off? Does it have any logo's or markings? – THelper Dec 5 '20 at 14:45

How to dispose of things depends on your local waste processing facility and what kind of waste streams they can handle, so it's always best to ask them.

There are a few general guidelines though.

If the packaging is paper or cardboard-based dispose of it along with other paper or cardboard if that's collected separately where you live. If the packaging is not laminated and/or does not have a glossy feel you could also dispose of it along with other organic material so it will be composted.

If it's not paper or cardboard, most likely it's compostable plastics (probably PLA) and most recyclers will advice you to dispose of it in the 'unsorted' waste. In theory these types of plastics can be composted, but they require special processing facilities where the plastics are kept at high temperatures for a longer period to break it down. Very few waste processors do that and most compostable plastics end up in landfills or being incinerated.

Do not dispose of compostable plastics together with regular plastics because it contaminates that waste stream.

  • My compostable packaging was used to hold a soup from a take-away restaurant. It's very valuable that you said I should not dispose it with other plastics. Thanks for the quick answer! – ZygD Dec 5 '20 at 15:07

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