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Compostable and biodegradable plastics come in a variety of materials. Not all can go in your garden / food waste collection.

Some will compost in a home composter, others won’t. Many aren't suitable for your kerbside garden and food waste collections - some simply break down into micro-plastics that cause pollution.

So here's what you need to know...
 

1. Don't put any compostable and biodegradable plastics in your recycling, garden / food waste bins except for food waste caddy liners showing the seedling logo.
 

2. If your caddy liners don't have the seedling logo, we can't accept it.

 

3. Products that say they're home compostable are fine for your home compost bin. But don't put them in your kerbside garden / food waste bin.

They'll break down slower, which is fine for your compost bin but no good for our facilities. It's also almost impossible for crews to know the difference between these and regular plastics.

 

4. Biodegradable plastics, bioplastics or biobased products sometimes say they're recyclable. Currently they're not recyclable in Hertfordshire. Again, if there's no seedling logo, it can only go in your general waste bin.

Bioplastic describes what it's made from, not how it degrades.

 

5. Water soluble plastics - often made from seaweed and used to make some washing liquid and food sachets that break down in water and drinking balls such as Ooho balls (trialled at the London Marathon 2019).

However, they're almost impossible for our crews to distinguish between these and traditional plastics. As such, we can't accept them in any kerbside bin other than the general waste bin.

 

Biodegradable product labelling

With no standard labelling system, the world of biodegradable and compostable plastic products is confusing.

Here's what to do with them:
 

Home compostable logos

Only put these plastics in your general waste bin or home compost.

Home compostable logos - all say "home compostable" or "Home OK compost".

 

Compostable logos

Only put these plastics in your general waste bin.

Compostable logos - all say "OK compost"

However, if they have a seedling logo on, you can put them in your food waste bin.

compostable plastic seedling logo

 

Biodegradable logos

Only put these plastics in your general waste bin.

Biodegradable logos - all say "100% biodegradable" or "100% plastic free"

Some of these logos suggest that biodegradable plastics are recyclable. However, the facilities to recycle these are not yet widely available which can cause confusion.

 

Bioplastics logos

Only put these plastics in your general waste bin. They're not suitable for composting or recycling.

Bioplastics logos - all say "OK biobased" or "Biobased more than 85%"

 

Oxo-degradable plastics

Only put these plastics in your general waste bin. They're not suitable for home composting or recycling.

Oxo-degradable logo - put these plastics in your general waste bin

Oxo-degradable plastic bags have been banned in the EU and are likely to disappear from circulation. They are, however, in widespread use in other parts of the world.

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Cookies we use

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Required functionality

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Required functionality

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Required functionality

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2 years

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1 month

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There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

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Service namePurposeMore information

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Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

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It expires at the end of your browser session.

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