Compost Experiment Results

About a year ago, I put together a little experiment testing the claim of a plastic cup to be "compostable" (see original post here). From what I had heard and read, I suspected this claim to be misleading in that it takes more than a home compost bin to break down the corn-plastic, but I didn't want to start spreading disinformation without having looked into it myself.

Well, after digging around through soil, worms, eggs shells, and more soil*, the results are in: the plastic of the cup is in just as good shape as it was the day it was served to me. If it wasn't for being crushed with additional compost material, it would still be able to be drank from. (And for the record, our compost bin is awesome and gets really hot and breaks down everything else just fine.)

The moral of this story? If your gut tells you an advertising claim might be a little too good to be true, look into it. I see green claims thrown around these days that are a blatant misstating of the truth*. Now I've got a little empirical evidence to back me up, at least on this one.

(Thanks to everyone who has kept asking about this. Knowing that the things that make me curious make you curious as well is great inspiration to keep on posting!)
Wednesday August 26 2009File under: environment, misc

Toggle Comments (7)comment?
on Wed 26th Aug, 2009 12:07 pm PDT Sean said:
I like the how all the green commercials say they're "good" for the environment. I guess it does sound better than "less bad," if you're trying to sell things.
on Wed 26th Aug, 2009 01:48 pm PDT Andrew said:
Why do you hate America?
on Wed 26th Aug, 2009 03:14 pm PDT gretchen said:
i think what's even more frustrating is that many people are under the perception that even if they don't compost these types of products they'll bread down in landfills - clearly not going to happen if you can't even do it in your compost. bummer, dude.
on Wed 26th Aug, 2009 10:54 pm PDT Saxtor said:
I'm disappointed, Wren. Perhaps you should try harder next time.
on Thu 27th Aug, 2009 05:04 am PDT Sean said:
When will people learn that we have a limited amount of space for our ever growing landfills. But if we'd just dump everything into the ocean it's out of sight out of mind. Until the dolphins attack...
on Fri 28th Aug, 2009 06:58 pm PDT Dave said:
Don't worry, Sean, China and Korea have caught onto your dumping idea. The beaches on my island are their landfills.
on Fri 28th Aug, 2009 06:59 pm PDT Dave said:
Oh, and thanks for the update, Wren. I wonder about that cup from time-to-time. Are you going to write to the company?

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