Compostable Plastics are not composted in Marin, but rather sent to landfill, or they end up in creeks, waterways, and the bay.
Because compost generated from Marin County yard and food scraps is certified organic, bioplastics can not be included (or we lose the certification). Because our compost is certified organic, it is allowed for use on food crops. Cities that do allow bioplastics in their composting program (such as San Francisco) can only use the resulting compost for landscaping purposes.
Bioplastics in Marin are actually increasing our solid waste, as well as compounding the plastic pollution of our creeks and the bay.
Perhaps most frustrating is that because these products are labeled "compostable", consumers believe they are being composted. I have yet to meet someone (outside of the sanitary service departments), that understands that these items are strictly landfill.
For a truly greener Marin, remove bioplastics from circulation and encourage consumers to bring their own, or opt for paper (cups/straws) or birch (utensils) which are all genuinely compostable.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions
Compostable Plastics are not composted in Marin.
Bioplastics in Marin are sent to landfill or end up as plastic pollution in our storm drains, our creeks and eventually into the Bay.
The reason these materials are not included in our composting program, is twofold. First, bioplastics take on average more than 100 days to break down in a commercial composting facility, and the composting systems we use turn food and yard waste into compost in roughly 45 days. Secondly, compost from Marin's food and yard waste is certified organic, and thus suitable for use on food crops. Compost containing bioplastics or compostable plastics is suitable only for landscaping, and cannot be certified organic.
Compostable plastics serve no purpose in Marin County, and actually add to our already troublesome plastic pollution issues. The only thing these products seem to be doing, is lulling well intentioned consumers into a false sense of "greening" our community by using "compostable"plastics instead of petroleum based plastics.
We should be working to close the loop on our waste system in Marin County, and a step in that direction would be to begin to eliminate products we can't absorb into our composting or recycling systems.
Thank you kindly for your time.