Are bioplastics compostable?

The term “bioplastics” is heating up conversations in the industrial compost community. These materials, made wholly or partly from renewable plant-based sources, are often pegged as contaminants because they typically degrade much slower than leaves, grass, and food scraps, throwing a monkey wrench into composters’ established processes. By reports from the ground, even polylactic acid (PLA), often touted as 100% compostable, rarely breaks down in the timeframe processors need to run an efficient business.

Tim O’Neill, president Engineered Compost Systems, says he sees and hears this often.

“While bio-based plastics are considered better for the environment than petroleum-based plastics, the degradation time scales don’t match process conditions in most commercial-scale compost facilities. When we talk to clients they consistently say, ‘We screen bioplastics out with all the other plastics,’” he says.

Biome Technologies plc (LON:BIOM) is a growth oriented, commercially driven technology group. The Group’s primary activity is the development of its fast growing business in bioplastics. The Group comprises two divisions: Biome Bioplastics and Stanelco RF Technologies.

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