"Compostable" Cup Update

Back in June of 2011, which is about eighteen months ago now,  I added a "compostable" cup made from plant materials to my compost bin.  Yesterday I was finally harvesting the bin--got gorgeous near-humus, by the way...
...and discovered the "compostable" cup hasn't broken down much.  It still looks pretty much like a cup.  
I've read that these "compostable" containers and the like really need commercial level composting (very high heat) to truly compost--a home composter doesn't work well.

I think I can confirm that.  I'll toss it back into the bin and see what the next 18 months does to it. 

In contrast, further compost harvesting revealed that a 4" "compostable" pot I bought some small plant in--tomato?  lavender?--a couple of years ago was broken down nicely.  There was just one barely recognizable piece left.  I had to ponder it a while to remember what it was.  I think those pots were made from compressed rice hulls or some other such stuff.  Probably not something you could drink coffee from.  

Fully compostable:


  1. Thanks for posting this. Because of it I did a little reading about compostable items, plastics made from plants, etc., and found that it's confusing and misleading. Just because the plastic comes from plants, that doesn't mean it's compostable. Plus there are petroleum-based plastics that are compostable. Then there's debate on whether it's even a good thing to have these plastics break down at all -- apparently they don't break down completely but form "microplastics" which can contaminate soil and wash into the water cycle.

    1. Hi Alan, That cup did claim it was fully compostable.

      I eventually bought a metal/ceramic commuter cup to use instead of paper or plastic. I get a 10 cent discount on every cup, so it's paid for itself by now. Maybe that's the best way..."microplastics"--yeeccchhh!


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