Can you put "compostable" plastic bags in your home compost pile? If the bag says "compostable", you would think you could compost it but can you? That is a question I found myself thinking about the other week.
As many of you know, I have really been getting into the whole reduce, re-use, recycle thing. I am more in to the philosophy for the money saving aspect of it but helping the environment can't hurt either. Over the past year, I have tried to continuously improve or eliminate my wasteful habits.
I am not perfect by any means but each month I try to do something else. A few months ago, I was excited when I found out that the company I buy my coffee for my Keurig machine started using what they called compostable bags. That is pretty sweet I thought to myself.
My Keurig machine is currently on the radar screen for an expense I can cut out but given the fact that buying it allowed me to stop buying a pop on the way home from work every day and that it is working makes it hard to get rid of.
Back to the compostable bags. Once my coffee started coming in the compostable bags, I started putting them in my compost pile. I suppose I should have done some more research but the bag said compostable in bold green letters.
The bags never did break down but they started coming in the late fall so I figured they just didn't have enough time to do so. However, over the winter, I started questioning the bags I was saving. If you are putting the bags in your compost pile to break down, what are they made of?
Good question right? The first place I looked to see what material the bags where made of was the bag themselves. Nothing on the bag except the word compostable. I was tricked by those green letters before but not this time. Off to the Internet. I google searched compostable bags. Nothing official popped up.
The next spot I looked at was on-line forums. Again, nothing really official. It seemed people had a lot of opinions about the bags but nobody had any concrete info. Some people said they were okay. Some said not.
Great. Should I still be putting these bags in my compost pile or not? I still have not figured out the answer to that question officially but I am no longer using them in my compost pile. I figure the reward of putting them in definitely is not worth the risk.
If the bags are okay, I have more material but that really isn't an issue for me. If they are not okay, I risk my family's health if something nasty gets in the compost pile. For the time being, the bags are going in the recycle bin instead.