Wednesday, August 05, 2009

CATEGORY - Composting

It is important to note that this cannot be divorced from other options, such as Food Waste Disposal which, as you'll gather can be a rather heated debate.

However, as one currently on his 3rd council composter (big rural garden), wherever I lay my scraps, that's my loam.


Guardian - Bin it! - A view. This, however, is not the best motivational kick off, IMHO: 'Do you still chuck out your kitchen scraps? Shame on you.'

Guardian - Emptying organic rubbish can damage health, say doctors - I share because it is relevant and a new part of the topic debate, but it is littered with a load of 'coulds' and 'some says', and had no real conclusions or counter explanations, so read in that context. It all comes across a tad 'scare story' to me.

Guardian - Compost organic waste - No mention of the piece above, oddly. Must be another department.

Beverage Daily - Green packaging still facing barriers to growth - Interesting to note the realities of some eco-alternatives being touted

Indy - Man died after inhaling spores of garden fungus - OK, I have noted and rather cranked an eyebrow at this before. Now it seems worth taking a bit more seriously.

Guardian - Man dies after inhaling fungal spores from garden compost

My Zero Waste - Is cornstarch plastic packaging (PLA) compostable or recyclable? - A worthwhile investigative journey by a fellow blogger. I have added a few comments of my own, resisting the temptation to opine that M&S's mighty PR/CSR team seems less than savvy and good mainly for trotting out soundbites.

I still concern myself with what these things end up as. Dredging up my old science, ‘matter cannot be created or destroyed’, so you have to end up with something. The question is what… and where.

In a worst case (IMHO) you end up with a plastic soup, that may not choke a turtle but still doesn’t sound great in the water table. And I have to ponder what gasses are given off during the process too; I doubt they are always benign, GHG-wise.
I’ll have to revisit my little investigation a few years back at the time of the plastic bag bans.
Frankly reuse is optimal, but I would say that, and concede it is not always practical (though I am pondering how bulk schemes may work for certain products, and indeed one is being trialled by ASDA).

Which brings us back to effective recycling. Trouble is, that means sensible coordination and cooperation between manufacturers, retailers, LGAs and… the public. Not working out so well so far.

If we are to have these breakdown-style products ‘in the mix’ they do need to be separated and delivered to appropriate processing facilities… just as one should any other recyclate. However, the plethora of options countrywide, from pack types to disposal systems, coupled with all the competing label systems, does not seem designed to encourage an already less than motivated public to act in complement.

I am having a rather unique ‘problem’ with my waste plastics, which I retain to find uses for, in that some I have stored are indeed breaking down, which makes them useless to me. Hence I am having to train up on the various labelling options to split them out. Frankly, embossed black on black doesn’t help this much, especially as at my age my eyesight is no longer what it used to be.

Also worth noting this one in complement to my own : Biodegradable plastic bags carry more ecological harm than good

plasticsnews - European Bioplastics distances itself from oxo-degradables

planetgreen - 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn't - Well if this doesn't deserve a slot here, I don't know what does. Just... verify first!


The European Bioplastics position paper on oxo-biogradable plastics

Greenusesforwaste - NEW - Can Used Cooking Oil be Put into Garden Compost?


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