Biofoil home composting, foil 16. Day 93. The final.By Jop Timmers // 28th October 2011 // 2
I am testing the actual biodegradability of Lovechock’s certified home compostable biobased packaging foil in my backyard in Amsterdam. This is the last foil I take out of the compost barrel.
Day 93, foil 16
Wow! This foil is hidden well, way down in the compost. With a lot of effort I manage to get it out . It is not much more than a small sticky ball. I also retrieve a small piece of the cardboard packaging of Lovechock. Almost entirely gone too. The cardboard material is also suitable for home composting, but it is better to recycle it into another paper product.
Then I decide to also take out the Albert Heijn foil that is made of PLA (poly lactic acid, a bioplastic that is usually made of corn starch). As I expected, this foil is still intact. Although PLA is made of renewable, natural resources and is biodegradable, it takes a higher temperature and more time to decompose. The compostable logo is still very well visible. That specific logo should instruct people that the material is suitable for professional (industrial) composting. I think it is a confusing logo.
Besides that, unfortunately the biodegradation time for PLA is too long for common industrial composting systems, so most of the time these foils are sifted out of the bio mass and burned after all. This is still better than burning conventional oil based plastic foils, but it would be much better to recycle PLA foils into new PLA material.
Back to my celluloid based foils! When I slowly soak off the compost from the remaining foil in a little bit of water, I see there is hardly anything left but a thin membrane. With my tweezers I retrieve the foil from the water. It is wafer-thin!
When the foils degrades more than this, there will be nothing more to see. When you compare it to the original foil it is best to see how much it has reduced in size and volume.
I take some more pictures, also with a microscopic camera (thanks Frank!). This also reassures me, you can see the texture and thickness of the material has totally changed.
This is it. I am convinced. This celluloid based foil is home compostable, even in my compost barrel in my shaded Amsterdam back yard!