Biofoil home composting, foil 1-4. Day 1-19. First results.By Jop Timmers // 15th September 2011 // 0
20 Lovechock foils are carefully placed inside my compost barrel. The chocolate I ate… wow it’s good!
For comparison I have also placed a foil made of biobased plastic PLA (polylactic acid). I know that PLA is compostable in a professional composting installation only, but I want to see for myself if the home compostable celluloid foil is better for composting indeed.
The temperature inside is around 30 degrees Celsius.
Day 5, foil 1
Every week I take out a single foil and make a close-up picture. This is the first foil that was taken out after 5 days.
It already feels damp and a little bit sticky.
Day 7, foil 2
It has been warm today and also the previous days. When I reach for the ropes, I feel the heat radiating from the compost. It is definitely working properly. Every day I add quite some green waste so I have to take out the foil with care.
It feels good, the foil is warm and feels softer than before. I pull at the foil and a part tears off easily. This is promising.
Day 10, foil 3
Temperatures have been great the previous days. Taking out another foil, I notice composting has really set off now. The heap is warm and quite moist. The foil is too.
It feels as if it has lost its strength, kind of weak. Still I cannot actually see whether the foil has become thinner. I fear destroying it, so I don’t stretch it too much. After taking pictures I place the foil in a plastic bag to store it properly. The bag immediately turns misty from the moist of the foil.
Day 19, foil 4
I just came back from a short holiday and rush to my experiment. When I open up the barrel, the heat radiates towards me, as well as numerous little flies. It has been brewing inside!
I pick one of the ropes, and pull it. There is some resistance at first and then I hold the rope loosely in my hand… Can it be that the foil has already degraded completely?
I try another one and the same happens. Then I notice the rope itself has degraded. Mmm, not so smart: using natural rope to tie the foils inside a home compost barrel…
With a small spade I manage to get a foil out. There are lots of ants on it, as well as larvae.
The foil is still in one piece, but it is pretty yellow and it feels rather soft. I’ll probably wind up replacing all the ropes with wire. Should have done so in the first place, obviously…