Compostable packaging - good to know

We receive a lot of queries regarding the disposal of ‘compostable’ packaging as people are choosing to go ‘plastic free’. Unfortunately these options aren’t always as good as they seem.

Currently it’s not possible to recycle or compost these new materials via your kerbside collection service and they would need to be disposed of in your black general waste bin.

Why can’t I put compostable packaging in my food waste container?

Compostable packaging should not be placed into your food caddy as it is not suitable for the treatment process and will not break down at the Anaerobic Digestion facility. We would advise checking with the manufacturer to see if the packaging is suitable for home composting (the majority need to be industrially composted) if you are unable to compost your packaging at home, it would need to be placed in your general waste bin for disposal.

What’s the solution?

We would always point residents towards the waste hierarchy:

  1. reduce (best option)
  2. reuse
  3. recycle
  4. recovery
  5. disposal (worst option) 

We would therefore recommend reusable options wherever possible. Examples include: reusable bottles, cups and cutlery as well as packaging for food such as foil, which is easily recyclable, or reusable glass or plastic tubs for food. If reusable is not an option then always aim for recyclable options which we can accept as part of our kerbside recycling collection service.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 7 May 2020