Everyone wants to do better for the environment, that's why more and more people like to use paper cup lids. However, you may be wondering, what exactly is a compostable paper cup lid?
Everyone wants to do better for the environment, that's why more and more people like to use paper cup lids. However, you may be wondering, what exactly is a compostable paper cup lid? We're here to help! Let's review the basics of compostable lids, the different types of compostable lids, what to compost in an industrial facility, and what to compost at home.
PLA (polylactic acid): This bioplastic is made from corn and is commonly used with compostable paper cup lids.
Wheat straw fiber: This fibrous plant is used as an alternative to other tree-based food containers and paper products.
Recycled paper: From coffee cups to compostable bowls, recycled paper is growing in popularity. You can also find this material in reusable shopping bags and PLA lining products.
TPLA and CPLA: These are variants of PLA. TPLA, which is infused with talcum powder, is used for its strength and rigidity and is commonly used in utensils. CPLA is a crystalline form of PLA that has strength and heat resistance, which is why it is often used in coffee cup lids.
Bagasse/sugarcane fiber: As a renewable fiber, this sugarcane byproduct can be used as a paper substitute.
Some items are not meant for composting. If you want to know what not to compost, consider these two materials.
Coated Cardboard packaging: Food packaging with aluminum foil or plastic layers should not go into the compost pile. This means that you should avoid putting any milk cartons, juice cartons, wax-lined paper cups, and foil-lined paper bags into the compost pile. Also, unfortunately, most single-serve coffee cups are not recyclable or compostable.
Bioplastic packaging: Unless the product has been proven to compost at home, you may be in trouble. Many companies claim to have compostable biodegradable packaging, but that doesn't mean the packaging is actually compostable, nor does it tell you where the packaging can be composted. Typically, compostable packages need to be sent to industrial composting facilities, where temperatures are much higher than in-home composting stacks.
Example of home compost bin set up near the garden
Example of an industrial composting facility showing the post-soil products
When you compost at home, you won't include many items due to odor or difficulty activating the decomposition process. While home composting is easy to do, it may not be the best solution for each material. Industrial composting facilities have special equipment to break down harder materials such as meat, fish shavings, and dairy products. Commercial composting allows items to break down faster and more efficiently, but it also requires you to take the waste away from the site.
Green Olive offers compostable paper cup lids and other compostable packaging products
At Green Olive, we use sustainable, environmentally friendly, industrially compostable bagasse materials to make paper cups lids. We want to reduce your business footprint to meet the growing needs of our customers.