Composting Miscellaneous Materials

Wednesday, 5 February 2014  |  HOTBIN Composting

Many plastics are biodegradable, however, the common plastics are often not. Plastics degrade in UV sunlight and UV degraded plastic is biodegradable. It can take a long time for these to biodegrade, usually varying between 50-500 years depending on the environmental conditions.

Always check whether the time quoted for a material to biograde is based on sea water, landfill (anaerobic), soil (cold composting), hot composting (aerobic), exposed to sun etc.

 

Miscellaneous Materials Will it Decay Cold
Compost
HOTBIN Compost Rate of decay in the HOTBIN Comments
Glass             No No No -  
Metals No No No - Metals degrade but do not biodegrade.
Plastics (acetates, PVC, PU, PLA, Polyesters, nylon) Yes/No No No Slow These plastics slowly biodegrade. Times are measured in months to 50 years depending on the size of the pieces and the environmental conditions.
Plastics (PP, PE, PET, Polystrene) Yes/No No No Very slow These plastics degrade in UV sunlight and UV degraded plastic is then biodegradable. Times are measured in 50-500 years depending on the size of the pieces and the environmental conditions.
Rubber, latex gloves and products Yes Not Advised Yes Slow Natural latex (and synthetic latex) is biodegradable and compostable.
Vulcanised rubber (e.g. tyres) Yes No No Very slow The vulcanised rubber is very slow to degrade and/or biodegrade.