Compostability of Alternative Food Service Containers

By Lora Hall and James Bassett.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Non-compostable petroleum-based plastics pose a significant challenge in the field of municipal solid waste management. Such plastics are particularly problematic for composting when they come in the form of food packaging material because they frequently contaminate otherwise compostable food waste. Compostable bio-plastics have been developed that could potentially eliminate this contamination problem. Issues have arisen, however, with bio-plastics contaminating the waste stream of traditional recyclable plastics. In addition, questions remain regarding the compostability of bio-plastics under various composting conditions. This article reviews the literature on the recycling and composting of plastics. It also presents an empirical study that examined the compostability of bio-plastic food packaging material in a vermicomposting system.

Keywords: Plastics, Bio-plastics, Composting, Food Service Packaging, Vermicomposting

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.231-242. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 642.085KB).

Lora Hall

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA

Dr. James Bassett

Professor, College of Business, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA

Dr. Bassett is a professor in the College of Business at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is a senior member of the Environmental Affairs Committee at the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, a steering committee member for Santa Monica’s Sustainable Quality Award, co-founder of Santa Monica’s Green Business Certification Program and co-founder of the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature.


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