The surprising fate of compostable plastic

Nov 27, 2012

Where do compostable plastic forks and knives go to die? It’s not where you’d think. In past few years compostable plastics, synthesized from plants, have exploded on to 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 certified organic compost 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, recyclable. In the future, he'd like to see that changed.