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Compost detritus part 2

This follows on from my earlier post about plastic bits in my compost heap.

Has anyone had success in composting 'bio-degradable' plastic bags?  I suspect there are different versions, but I no longer try,  having experimented and failed for the last few years.  The longest I have left this type of plastic is two years.  I think some of it does start to degrade, probably the cornstarch variety,  but not to the extent that it is unrecognizable as plastic.

(I use the cold compost method, with 1 inch layers of grass layered between kitchen scraps and plenty of brown stuff - cardboard/leaves etc)


  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,939
    Some biodegradable plastics do not degrade in domestic situations. Some of them are a bit of a con.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,511
    It's so hard to know the ingredients in any of the so-called biodegradable plastics - whether labelled as home compostable or not.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,688
    The ones that say that they are made from potato starch do disappear in our big traditional compost heap. They are the ones that feel soft and silky. The more crinkly ones don’t seem so willing. 
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,355
    Generally they are designed to breakdown in council compost systems where the heat is very high and for prolonged periods. I've managed with my hot bins to break some down but it doesn't always work and I end up fishing bits out.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 484
    edited 23 September
    My compost cycle is 2 years.  I put  anything vegetable in the order it comes withouut mixing.  No accelerator or lime.  Shady cold position. I put biodegradable plastics on the heap just out of interest. All types are still whole at the end of my cycle.

    For your No1 enquiry, the cardboard will be the source of your other non-degradables.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,043
    None of them break down properly in my compost, so I stopped putting them in.
  • MikeOxgreenMikeOxgreen PenninesPosts: 349
    I put mine in the black bin, they can rot away elsewhere in their own time. It was only Which? magazine which used them anyhow and i've cancelled that.
  • The NT use the potato starch bags  - more likely to break down in a domestic heap than others but not always the case. 
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