A case for composting

The Situation

Plastic. It’s so 1950s and is literally almost indestructible. You’d think being indestructible is pretty cool right? Well yes if you’re a super hero. But while you might think wrapping your precious goods in indestructible plastic is the hero you’ve been looking for; it doesn’t come without a price.

Explain.

So much stuff. Humans have created 8.3billion metric tonnes of plastic since large-scale production started in the early 1950s. Where are they now? Landfill, the ocean, trashing up the world somewhere we suppose as only 9% has been recycled.

Landfill. Aside from being super ugly its unappealing looks are far from its worst feature. Leachate -pronounced ‘leach-ate’, is as gross as it sounds. It’s quite literally the toxic liquid formed when waste breaks down in landfill and ‘leaches’ into our land and water ways.

Oceans. Almost 8million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, for sea life to ingest or get entangled in causing severe injuries or deaths.

Greenhouse Gas. When organic waste like your food scraps and garden waste is taken to landfill, it’s generally compacted down, covered and buried beneath more waste without access to air or sunshine. This causes organic waste to break down in an anaerobic process (i.e. without air), creating methane a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2).

Side note on CO2.

And if you didn’t know, CO2 is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas that traps heat close to the Earth which is actually a good thing! It helps Earth hold the energy from the sun otherwise it would all escape back into space and the Earth’s oceans would be frozen solid.

Even though CO2 is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas, humans now create billions of tonnes of it (around 84%) causing more heat to be trapped on the Earth (cue climate change), Oceans to become more acidic (affecting sea life) and is detrimental to human health (air pollution).

Get to the point.

It’s time for an alternative to plastic, to landfill and to greenhouse gases.

Compostable packaging is not a miracle solution to the world’s waste problems but it is a step in the right direction. Compostable packaging is made from plants and disposed of correctly in compost bins will return to earth in a few months, redirecting waste from landfill and oceans.

Composting your food scraps, green waste and compostable packaging in a compost bin eliminates the leaches and the gases. Simple.

Let’s talk composting. > blog post on composting