Compostable products broken down

In the race to cut down on plastic, alternative products labelled ‘biodegradable’ or ‘compostable’ including cutlery, plates, packaging and coffee cups are filling supermarket shelves. These products shouldn’t go in your recycling, food or garden waste bin and might not be suitable for home composting. Here’s why…

Food and garden waste in Surrey is recycled using processes that require the material to break down quickly. Food waste is sent to a facility where it breaks down at speed to produce biogas while garden waste is quickly turned into compost in the presence of oxygen.

If biodegradable or compostable products are present during these processes, they won’t break down quickly enough, meaning they will be disposed of without being recycled. For the same reason, biodegradable products are not suitable for home composting while compostable products are only suitable for home composting if they include a suitable logo.

Before you bin these products, check to see if there’s a nearby recycling scheme for your packaging. Compostable coffee pods have drop off points across the country:

Reduction continues to be best way to fight plastic pollution so we would advise residents to opt for reusable alternatives where possible. Alternatively, choose recyclable packaging.

Browse our website to find out more about what you can recycle or download the Surrey Recycles app from the Google Play or Apple App stores.