Where do compostable plastic forks and knives go to die? It’s not where you’d think. In the past few years compostable plastics, synthesized from plants, have exploded onto the market. But are they are not as green as they seem. KRCB’s Danielle Venton reports.
Synthetic materials, like compostable plastic, can't go in to compost that is allowed for organic production under the National Organic Program regulations, set by US Department of Agriculture. Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador, program director at the Organic Materials Review Institute says regulations, though they may change in the future, ensure the "organic" label means something.
Tim Dewey-Mattia, of the Napa Recycling & Composting Facility, says there is a lot of consumer confusion about how to dispose of compostable plastics. Currently, they are not recyclable nor, at most facilities, compostable. In the future, he'd like to see that changed. (Images:1. Plastic cup. Courtesy of Flickr/rsuehle; 2. The compost pile at Waste Management Redwood Landfill in Novato. Danielle Venton for KRCB.)