How is compost made from biodegradable waste

Bioplastics - good for the environment or in the bin?

Everyone has probably seen them before - they are currently being advertised in almost every supermarket. We are talking about collecting bags made of plastic, which one could safely dispose of in the organic waste - in our case in the green bin or over the compost. But you get a bit skeptical when you actually use the bags and want to dispose of them via the above-mentioned channels. Often people are still reluctant to dispose of them as organic waste - and this is definitely justified.

In general, bioplastics are currently a hot topic, especially in discussions about climate change, environmental protection and environmentally conscious behavior. While the latter is growing increasingly among the population, it also creates gaps in the market that the industry quickly closes with new products. The situation is similar with the green collection bags.
What is really important and what you should definitely pay attention to when using such bags, also for the Marburg-Biedenkopf district, read in the following article.


Bioplastics - a few facts in brief

There are basically two types of bioplastics:

  • Bio-based plastics: These plastics are (partly) made from biomass (e.g. corn or sugar cane) and are not necessarily biodegradable.
  • Biodegradable plastics: They only decompose under certain conditions to form carbon dioxide and water, but are not necessarily bio-based.

Both types generally differ in their manufacturing and decay process. Information on biodegradability and compostability is provided by the European standards EN 13432 and EN 14995 from the year 2000. These standards clearly regulate the conditions under which a bioplastic may be given the appropriate seal.

Can the bio-based plastics be disposed of in the bio bin?
Only if the bags are certified (EN 13432 or EN 14995), are made predominantly from renewable raw materials (biodegradability is given) and, importantly, are approved by the respective public waste disposal authority for the biowaste treatment plant.
Again, the situation is different with biodegradable packaging plastics: These belong in the yellow sack or the yellow bin, because the manufacturer's licensing obligation also includes bioplastics in this case.

The following applies to private compost: Disposal of the collection bags is not recommended, as the in-house compost does not generate the necessary temperatures for decomposition, as is the case for B. is the case in an industrial composting process. In addition, these plastics do not have a positive effect on the compost.


What about the green collection bags in the Marburg-Biedenkopf district?

In the Marburg-Biedenkopf district, bioplastics are not to be disposed of in the organic waste bin, but in the residual waste.
The background is as follows: The bioplastics are not broken down quickly enough in the recycling process in the biomass center in Stausebach. In addition, they can only be inadequately differentiated from conventional plastics or bioplastics that have not been appropriately certified and must therefore be sorted out with additional effort. This is the case in most composting plants. They are also reluctant to be seen in fermentation plants, as they hardly ferment.

Composting in the home garden is also not recommended for the reasons mentioned above.


Is there an alternative to the bioplastic bags?

The best alternative is not to use bioplastics in the first place. Instead, there are inexpensive alternatives in every household, e.g. B. Newsprint. This can either be spread out on the bottom of the barrel or, especially with smaller vessels, such as. B. organic presorters, fold into a separate container, which you then put in the container. The newsprint absorbs the moisture and prevents the waste from sticking to the side walls and the bottom of the bin.

Using ready-made paper bags from the trade seems sensible at first, because this at least avoids the inconvenience that bioplastics bring with them. However, you should also be careful here: Because it makes no difference whether you use pre-made paper or plastic bags. The background is the production process of the paper bags made of fibers, because a lot of water is used here, which in turn is bad for the ecological balance. At least these paper bags can be disposed of in the green bin.

It remains to be said: Unfortunately, they are not as green as the bioplastic collection bags appear. Different ingredients of the bags and thus different processes of decay complicate a clear assignment. What initially seemed right in the basic idea, namely to produce biodegradable bags, is unfortunately not yet mature and flexible enough to adapt to the planned and often regionally varying disposal routes. Here it is particularly important to observe the respective certifications and municipal requirements. Newsprint has no alternative and has been tried and tested for years; it can be adapted as desired and thrown into the organic waste.