All of our compostable products are BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) certified to meet the ASTM D6400 standards specification. We’ve taken it a step further to ensure composters trust our products through the Compost Manufacturing Alliance certification to support composters and the important work that they do. To ensure the compostable products you are using are truly compostable, check out our guide and also look for the following certified labels:
- Do not put plastics, glass, cans, or any non-organic items in the food scraps collection bin.
- Check the website of your local composter or municipality to learn about “what is” and “what is not” accepted in your food scraps collection bin
- Ensure that any compostable items such as compostable bags, utensils, cups, etc. are BPI and CMA certified. These certifications ensure that the items are easily identified and will compost properly in a commercial compost facility.
- Lining your kitchen bin with an EcoSafe® compostable liner will keep your bin clean and help reduce odors and fruit flies.
Since society started the migration from rural to urban centers, we have struggled to control food waste. In the 20th Century, we moved to a highly automated “tip and dump” system that included food and organics with trash destined for landfills. In some progressive cities and countries, recycling was added, but there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve Zero Waste in a growing society of over consumption.
Additionally, industrial agriculture practices have depleted healthy soil after years of pesticide use and tilling practices. With hotter temperatures on the rise, droughts and flooding is also on the rise. This is causing major negative impacts on farmland by increasing soil erosion, washing away the areas we need to grow food, and creating less resilient communities.
The good news is that by composting, we can keep nature in balance by replenishing the soil with nutrient-rich organic matter that maintains the natural biocycle. The healthier the soil, the more carbon is placed back into the soil. We must accelerate the collection of food scraps to produce compost that can be returned to local farmers in order to support regenerative agriculture. This video from Kiss the Ground explains the benefits of food scraps that are diverted from landfills.
EcoSafe®’s compostable bags, liners, and products do not require anything more than what already exists in an active commercial compost pile to break down into healthy compost. Microorganisms give off enzymes in a compost pile which break down the material’s flexible polymer chains into small parts. The material is then digested by the organisms with the other organic materials i.e., food scraps. At the end of the composting process, our bags break down into nothing but water, a small amount of CO2 (this is produced by all food or products in the composting process), and humus (a nutrient-rich organic material).
EcoSafe® compostable resins are made of compostable biopolymers, PBAT and PLA. We do not put a product in market without industry-best testing and confirmation of compostability.
What happens to a compostable bag or liner when it is disposed of in a commercial compost facility along with food scraps and other organics?
Unlike traditional plastic bags and other single-use plastic items that last for decades in landfills, EcoSafe®’s compostable products are strong like traditional plastic – yet – when disposed of in a commercial compost facility, the material will decompose within 10 – 45 days depending on the type of composting technology being used.
Composting facilities can take 2-6 months to fully compost organic matter. Commercial compost facilities send our collected bags/products along with other food scraps and organic matter through a grinder that partially disintegrates material to speed up the composting process. A feedstock mixture of carbon materials (brown items such as lawn waste) and nitrogen materials (green items such as food scraps and our bags) are full of microorganisms that give off enzymes to break down all of the material. Commercial compost facilities apply high heat in an intense composting phase that generally lasts 3-6 weeks to sanitize and break down most of the organic material. This composting stage is where most facilities vary in their process.
Finally, all compost must undergo a curing process that reduces heat and finalizes material breakdown, lasting 2-4 months depending on the composting process. At the end of the composting process, our compostable bags/products have broken down into nothing but water, a small amount of CO2 (this is produced by all food or products in the composting process), and humus (a nutrient-rich organic material).
Thank you for taking the steps to ensure you are compliant with local policies. If your city doesn’t accept compostable bags or other compostable products, it is most likely due to the lack of composting infrastructure that can support processing them. We are currently working with the government across North America on all levels to ensure that composters can accept our compostable film products. If you’re looking to advocate for the transition from plastics to compostables, notify your local MP or contact us, we’d be happy to help!
Terms like “biodegradable”, “oxo-degradable”, and “photo-degradable” sound like they are the same as “compostable.” However, these products will not compost at a commercial compost facility as they contain components of plastic and will need to be removed manually by the facility to avoid contaminating an entire batch of compost.
The term “biodegradable” or similar terms are often used as a marketing tactic in film plastics to make consumers think they are environmentally friendly. The truth is most of these products are just polyethylene products that have additives which cause them to fragment into smaller pieces of plastic which remain in the environment for years to come.
There is no standard specification against which to measure the term “biodegradable”, thus it really doesn’t mean much of anything. “Certified Compostable”, on the other hand, is measured to ASTM D6400, the standard specification test for compostability, which allows manufacturers to print the BPI logo on their products and packaging.
Contamination is the presence of an undesirable item that spoils the composting process and makes inferior soil material deemed unsuitable for growing purposes. Compost must be nearly entirely free of visual impurities which is why managing contamination is critical. Items such as plastic bags, produce stickers, glass bottles, uncertified compostable products, and other inorganic items should stay out of food scrap and organics collection programs.
The success of the composting industry depends on the strength of the end-markets for finished compost, that is why EcoSafe® heavily focuses on addressing contamination through our food scrap collection programs.
Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is wreaking havoc on our natural ecosystems, so it is critical to reduce waste and human impacts where we can. Food scraps is an amazing resource that should not be mistaken as trash destined for landfills. Collecting food scraps for compost is essential to solving the climate crisis, and it doesn’t have to be complicated!
When food is sent to landfill, it degrades anaerobically (without oxygen) which emits methane, a greenhouse gas that is 28x more harmful than CO2. The single most important thing we as an urban society can do is compost our organic waste and return it to the soil as a nutrient rich organic supplement that replaces chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Compost is the foundation of the natural biosphere that has evolved for more than a billion years. Everything that lives, flora or fauna, must die. Through nature’s carbon cycle, it gets returned to the soil to support the intricate balance of life on our planet.
The proper way to compost is to avoid combining common recycling practices with your compost, often considered “contamination”. Plastic bags, produce stickers, bread tags, and other plastics, glass, or non-organic items are considered “contamination” items that must not get mixed into food scraps and organic waste collection systems. Composters are responsible for processing this material into compost, and for the compost to be useful in a healthy soil environment, we need to keep non-organic items out.
If you already have bins, or have your desired bins in mind, head over to our bag size calculator. There you can search by bin name or by inputting the dimensions of your bin. There is also a Right Fit Guide that can help you find the right bin from a list of some of the most widely used bins, and see the corresponding properly fitting EcoSafe compostable bag.
The main purpose of compostable products to assist in the collection and diversion of food scraps to composting. Composting facilities can use pipes, probes, and other technologies to better monitor and regulate air flow, temperature, and moisture levels in composting piles. This allows commercial composters to efficiently process large volumes of municipal food waste. At the same time, it helps to ensure that compostable packaging is given enough time to break down in these advanced systems.
Home composting will not be able to produce the same results in the same timeframe without the controls, mechanical processes, and operating systems as commercial compost facilities. Temperatures in home compost piles typically don’t reach the levels of those in commercial or municipal facilities, and many of these products require higher temperatures to break down adequately.
We don’t recommend composting our bags and other compostable products in backyard composters because it will take a very long time for them to break down in your backyard compost bin. Although technically all certified compostable products will break down in the presence of oxygen and microbes, we recommend sending compostable products to a commercial scale or industrial compost site.
Food scraps are not waste – they are a resource! Diverting food “waste” is important because it processes food scraps that sometimes are considered waste into a valuable climate positive resource – compost!
EcoSafe® compostable bags and liners are used to line kitchen compost bins and collection carts. This is an easy way to keep them clean, control odours, and reduce insects such as maggots, fruit flies, and wasps. Our compostable bags have proven to increase participation from residents and employees in our food scrap collection programs too! It’s a win-win for waste generators, haulers, and composters because together we ensure plastic bags stay out of the food scraps collections while keeping food out of landfills.
We do this without any compromise because our compostable bags are super strong, moisture-resistant, and have excellent heat-sealing properties too. They are a great solution to reduce climate change impacts and are an innovative option for food service applications who aim to achieve Zero Waste.
Contact the EcoSafe® team today to get started. Whether your situation fits into one of our pre-constructed programs, or requires a more customized approach, we’re here to help.
We can move away from food scraps going to landfills by educating waste generators and by supplying the right compostable film products and bins to get your organization started. Each business or residence will deal with collecting food scraps and organic waste differently. To decide what will work best for you, our team can help design your system to make food scrap collection easy and effective. Compostable bags and liners are encouraged to increase resident or employee participation, keep interior collection bins clean, easily transport materials to proper outdoor receptacles, and ensure plastic bags do not end up in these receptacles. Contact us to learn more!
Like our compostable products, our food scrap collection programs positively impact the climate crisis because they are designed to decrease plastic consumption, divert food from landfills, and repurpose food scraps for compost. Food in landfills emits methane emissions, a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. By implementing our programs, you can increase the amount of compost available to your community. Our programs easily educate waste generators to separate food scraps from trash and recyclables, helping composters get the feedstock required to create more compost.
Additionally, many cities are accelerating bans that prohibit the disposal of food scraps to landfills. As the world moves to address the challenges associated with the climate crisis striving to become carbon-neutral, implementing food scrap collection programs and moving away from traditional plastic products can help build a healthy soil foundation and create a cleaner environment for all.
If you don’t have a community collection but you do have a backyard, you should start composting as it will provide healthy microbes for your garden! If you live in a high-rise building, work in an office, attend a school, or work in a restaurant or factory, chances are there is food that requires a composting system. EcoSafe® provides food scrap collection programs for any community, institution, or business that wants to institute a green waste program. With over 20 years experience, EcoSafe®’s team has helped residential, institutional, and commercial businesses of all sizes achieve Zero Waste (as defined by the Zero Waste International Alliance’s definition of getting waste to be regarded as a resource base). From BC Ferries to the LA Memorial Coliseum, to being the official compostable bag supplier of the 2010 Olympics, there is no project too big or small for EcoSafe® to handle! We have the right products, experience, and communication tools to help you start a successful food scraps collection program. At EcoSafe®, we don’t just think about the people collecting food scraps, but we also consider the haulers, composters, and other stakeholders required to transport and process the food scraps. We ensure that your organization is set up with the right connections so that we can close the loop on food being wasted, and instead, recovered as a natural resource for compost. Contact us today to get started! How do your food scrap collection programs positively impact the climate crisis? Like our compostable products, our food scrap collection programs positively impact the climate crisis because they are designed to decrease plastic consumption, divert food from landfills, and repurpose food scraps for compost. Food in landfills emits methane emissions, a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. By implementing our programs, you can increase the amount of compost available to your community. Our programs easily educate waste generators to separate food scraps from trash and recyclables, helping composters get the feedstock required to create more compost. Additionally, many cities are accelerating bans that prohibit the disposal of food scraps to landfills. As the world moves to address the challenges associated with the climate crisis stiving to become carbon-neutral, implementing food scrap collection programs and moving away from traditional plastic products can help build a healthy soil foundation and create a cleaner environment for all.
Starting a food scraps collection program with EcoSafe® has many benefits;
- EcoSafe® designs programs that are intended to educate waste generators on diverting food scraps and organics from landfills easily and effectively. To accomplish this, everything is included to start the program (including bins and signage).
- Cities are beginning to legislate and ban food scraps and organics from going to landfill. Why? Because…
- Sending food to landfills is toxic for the environment and our health. Food scraps and organic waste do not have the oxygen required to properly decompose in landfills. This causes the food to rot and produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is one of the main contributors effecting climate change. Food scrap collection programs ensure that food stays out of the landfill.
- Creating nutrient-rich compost used to feed and nourish soil promotes healthier plant growth, water conservation, soil erosion prevention, increased soil health, and overall waste reduction.
- Our programs are designed to collect uncontaminated food scraps to create healthy compost and help ensure a healthier future.
- We have over 20 years experience working with haulers, restaurants, property management firms, schools and universities, grocery chains, events, food service providers, and various other waste generators. Where there is food, there are food scraps, and we can provide the tools and processes to properly collect them!
- It’s a daily practice that has a big impact for the planet!
Short answer is- no!
Using compostable bags helps a lot and we strongly recommend you use them. Our bags are leak-resistant, tear-resistant, and ultra-strong. This means that when you put food scraps our bags, they stay in our bags. With all the food scraps contained securely, as long as bags are changed/hauled away on a regular basis, there will be very little opportunity for food scraps to begin decomposing which will keep smells and insects to a minimum.
The cost of hauling services to pick up organics and food scraps varies by state and/or municipality. In many cases, the cost is generally much lower than trash or recycling pickup.
Many of our clients have saved money from cutting their landfill trash down, avoiding the expensive tipping fees which in many cities are higher than those of their local composting facility(ies). Contamination fees, caused by waste generators who toss their items into a compost bin, is the reason why we prioritize educating waste generators about contamination throughout our programs.
We suggest approaching customers that are in areas where legislation or food bans to landfills exist. Contact us to get set up with our e-learning programs so that you have everything you need to go out there and green the planet!
Financial penalties for contaminated loads may include a caveat that either the hauler or local government will pay a penalty fee for an overly contaminated load as well as any disposal fees if it must be sent to a landfill. The fee is due to the rejection of the load due to contamination at the composting/recycling facility which is why our programs heavily focus on reducing contamination at the source by educating waste generators and creating programs that make things simple!
A tipping fee (sometimes known as a gate fee) is a fee paid by anyone who disposes waste in a landfill that is based on the weight of waste per ton. This fee can be passed down to waste generator from landfill through fees or taxes. Tipping fees help to make sure that landfills can keep up with state and federal regulations and are able to continue to meet the demand during its lifetime. Composters also may apply tipping fees at their discretion.
Depending on your customers circumstances, they may receive collection from their municipality as part of a public service (such as some multi-unit residential, single family residential, or various municipal institutions). Alternatively, they may need to contract a third-party waste hauler to pick up on their behalf (private business, multi-unit commercial dwellings, multi-unit residential dwellings not covered by municipal contracts).
Haulers in the local area are responsible for picking up food scraps and taking them to a commercial compost facility. Haulers are responsible for setting up the 64-gallon organics collection carts and pick up the food scraps/organic waste weekly. In some cases, buildings may have a hauling services company that picks up trash, recyclables, and food scraps/organics all together. In other cases, you’ll have to contact a private hauling company to pick up the food scraps.
As a product containing certified compostable polymers and renewable resources, these bags have a shelf life, and are not designed to be recycled in a standard facility that processes plastics. The limited life factor of the resin makes it unsuitable for processing into further products. Please keep compostable products out of the recycling bin as this will contaminate the recycling systems.
These bags are not designed to breakdown in a non-composting environment, as is the case with all certified compostable film bags. The lack of appropriate levels of heat, moisture, oxygen, and microbes mean that a bag thrown on the ground will remain as litter until it is broken down mechanically over time. It is thus important that these bags be disposed of in a commercial composting facility via a food scraps or organic waste collection program. This is the only appropriate end of life for this product.
Our bags are a blown film product – pellets of compostable resin are melted down inside a large machine called an extruder. This liquid is then blown through a die head which creates a bubble to a specific diameter based on the desired bag size. From there, the bubble travels up at a height which allows it to cool, so that when it is gusseted, folded, and wound onto itself, it is already in solid form and thus will not stick to itself. Lastly, it is either transferred to rolls for conversion into bags at a later date or is fed directly via a series of tensioned winders through machines that seal and perforate the bags, dictating the length of each bag.
Our BPI certification number can be found printed on our products and in our full BPI logo. In certain places with limited space, such as on cartons or boxes, a smaller logo is used that does not require the certification number to be printed on it. Nevertheless, any manufacturer that is claiming to be certified compostable will readily provide their certification number on request which can be cross referenced at www.bpiworld.org.