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Compostable Paper Cup Lids: What It Is & What It Means

Author: Alex     Publish Time: 2023-02-06      Origin: Site

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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.



What are compostable paper cup lids?


Compostable lids means that the lids that hold food or drink can break down into natural elements, such as soil, in the composting environment. Compostable Paper Cup LID is processed into organic material, decayed into compost, and used to fertilize the soil without leaving any toxicity. However, there are many types of compostable cup LIDS, some of which are more sustainable than others.



Different types of compostable paper cup lids


You can choose from a variety of compostable lid products including these materials.


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.

How to start composting your paper cup lids


For some, it's easier to bring the compost paper cup LIDS to a local facility, while others prefer to start the compost bin at home. In either case, you can usually compost the same types of items. Store items in the refrigerator if you plan to take them to a local facility. When the container is full, you can put it down. Some composting facilities offer collection services, just like curbside recycling, so be sure to search your area. Otherwise, if you choose to compost at home, you can always place the material in your bin.


Can you compost certain types of plastic food packaging?

Yes, some plastics are compostable, recyclable, or biodegradable. Compostable plastics are considered biodegradable, but biodegradable plastics are not compostable because they degrade in soil or water rather than soil conditioning materials. Compostable plastics decompose into soil conditioning materials under appropriate conditions. These materials are usually best kept in a composting facility. To be biodegradable, packaging must be able to be broken down by natural elements and bacteria.


Food packaging that should not go into the compost bin and why


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.


Composting in domestic and industrial facilities: What's the difference?


Example of home compost bin set up near the garden


Family compost

Example of an industrial composting facility showing the post-soil products


Industrial composting

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.


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