114 Compostable Items: Office, Home, and Food Packaging

114 Compostable Items: Office, Home, and Food Packaging

Everyone constantly generates new waste in life such as food waste, plastic bottles, takeout lunch boxes, dry ball pens, old clothes, and malfunctioning mouse. Most of this waste is made from plastic or composite materials. With the emergence of environmental awareness, many products are gradually being manufactured with compostable raw materials so that they can be composted after use, breaking down into water, CO2, and nutrients that can be returned to the environment.

The article will explain how composting works and how compostable products can break down and disappear. In addition to environmental protection, what other benefits can we generate by using compostable products? What are some of the compostable products we can find in everyday life? It is hoped that this article will help readers to choose compostable products and practice sustainable living.

How does composting work?

How does composting work?

Composting involves an artificially controlled microbial decomposition environment that allows organic substances to completely break down. Based on the decomposition environment and facilities, composting is divided into industrial composting and home composting, where organic substances are mixed in an ideal nitrogen-to-carbon ratio. During the decomposition process, techniques such as agitation or aeration are applied to ensure that the compost is evenly and continuously exposed to air. Moreover, a certain humidity is maintained to optimize decomposition efficiency and odor control. In particular, industrial composting involves large facilities and professional equipment to break down more types of compostable products, where as home composting is carried out separately by individual households to process their domestic organic waste without having to send it to an industrial composting plant.

For more details on how composting works and the differences between industrial and home composting, please read: HOME COMPOSTING VS INDUSTRIAL COMPOSTING HOW THEY WORKS.

So many compostable items in our lives!

Since the industrial revolution, people have begun to generate a lot of waste, hence massive landfills and incinerators have been constructed to process this waste. These facilities not only discharge greenhouse gases but also cause air and soil pollution, making them extremely bad for the environment. Many products in life can be manufactured with compostable materials. Using compostable products not only minimizes environmental pollution, but they are also natural, safe materials. Let us start choosing compostable products now and build a sustainable life together!

Benefits of choosing compostable items

Minimize environmental pollution

Compostable products can be returned to the environment through aerobic decomposition like dead branches and leaves, while other unrecyclable or indecomposable waste will end up in landfills, where it is broken down anaerobically, generating large amounts of greenhouse gases such as methane in the process. At the same time, rainwater will cause the decomposed harmful substances to seep into the soil. If the waste sent to the incinerator contains moisture, the incineration performance will be affected, resulting in toxic gases and slag that will contaminate the environment.

Natural and safe products

Compostable products are made of natural materials such as bagasse, bamboo, and wood. Furthermore, many compostable products have obtained compostability certification including the internationally reputable TÜV AUSTRIA OK compost HOME, which analyzes the tested products for plastics and heavy metals. Meanwhile, the composted soil also undergoes a biotoxicity test to guarantee the safety of the compostable products.

For more information on compostability certification, please read this article: “18 Compostable Products Certified Compostable and Benefits”.

Build a sustainable life

Compostable products are ubiquitous, allowing us to use them in every corner of our lives. Using compostable products and disposing of them properly is the way to realize a circular economy. By simply substituting things that we use every day, we will be able to build a sustainable life and fulfill our duties as global citizens.

114 compostable items from the office, home, and food packaging

Using compostable products offer numerous advantages, but they must be composted correctly to achieve full environmental benefits. Below are 114 common compostable products we see every day. Note that these compostable products must not be chemically treated, including plastic coatings, waxing, chemical dyes, fluorescent agents, bleaching agents, and brighteners, because this will contaminate the compostable products, making them difficult to decompose or even endanger the environment. Examples include using pure cotton buds with bamboo stems to apply chemical nail polish, wooden household products that are painted with waterproof paint, paper containers that are coated with waterproof plastic film, and paper that is printed with chemical inks. In addition, excessive oil and protein are also not suitable for composting, and whether to adopt industrial or home composting is at the discretion of the consumers depending on the circumstances at hand.

A list of compostable products in the bedroom


Image: Flickr

  1. Cotton tops (shredded)
  2. Wooden storage boxes (sawn sawdust)
  3. Linen pillow casing (shredded)
  4. Wooden hangers (sawdust)
  5. Fluffy dolls made of cotton (shredded)
  6. Pure cotton sheets (shredded)
  7. Wooden combs (sawdust)
  8. Paper shoe boxes (shredded)
  9. Wooden key holders (sawdust)
  10. Feather dusters (feathers)
  11. Cotton socks (shredded)
  12. Wooden shoe racks (sawdust)
  13. Pure cotton storage bags (shredded)
  14. Compostable laundry bags (shredded)
  15. Wooden coasters (sawdust)
  16. Pet fur balls
  17. Expired biscuits (crumbled)
  18. Expired sweets (crumbled)
  19. Hamster or rabbit bedding
  20. Expired dry pet food (crumbled)
  21. Linen upholstery (shredded)
  22. Silk curtains (shredded)
  23. Paper, droppings, and feathers on the bottom of bird cages

A list of compostable products in the kitchen


Image: Flickr

  1. Fruit peels (shredded)
  2. Eggshells
  3. Cauliflower stalks (shredded)
  4. Old vegetable leaves (shredded)
  5. Coffee grounds
  6. Unbleached coffee filters
  7. Compostable tea bags
  8. Tea leaves
  9. Paper napkins and paper towels
  10. Spoiled flour and oats
  11. Pizza boxes (shredded)
  12. Brown bags (torn)
  13. Bread crumbs
  14. Leftover rice
  15. Stale bread and cakes (torn)
  16. Soft cornflakes and biscuits
  17. Biscuit crumbs
  18. Compostable dinner plates (shredded)
  19. Unpopped popcorn kernels
  20. Peanut shells
  21. Compostable egg cartons (shredded)
  22. Apple cores
  23. Banana peels
  24. Spoiled jam or candied fruits
  25. Stale fruit wine
  26. Moldy soybeans and coffee beans (ground)
  27. Cereal boxes (shredded)
  28. Corn stalks (ground)
  29. Cherry stems
  30. Strawberry leaves
  31. Olive pits (cracked)
  32. Potato skins
  33. Wooden toothpicks
  34. Oil-absorbing kitchen paper towels
  35. Compostable food waste bags
  36. Natural sponges (shredded)
  37. Loofah (shredded)

A list of compostable products in the bathroom


Image: Flickr

  1. Absorbent pads (shredded)
  2. Toilet paper
  3. Cotton buds
  4. Hair
  5. Nails
  6. Wool dryer balls
  7. Dryer lint
  8. Bamboo toothbrushes (nylon bristle removed)
  9. Pure cotton towels (shredded)
  10. Natural floss
  11. Wooden mouthwash cups (sawdust)
  12. Paper towels
  13. Pure cotton bathroom floor mats (shredded)

A list of compostable products in the living room

living room

Image: Flickr

  1. Linen tablecloths (shredded)
  2. Natural Christmas tree (sawdust)
  3. Corks (shredded)
  4. Gift wrapping paper
  5. Natural garlands and bouquets
  6. Newspapers (separate pages)
  7. Withered potted plants
  8. Matches
  9. Natural candles
  10. Paper fruit gift boxes (shredded)
  11. Corrugated boxes (shredded)
  12. Bamboo stools (sawdust)
  13. Wooden coffee tables (sawdust)
  14. Bamboo baskets (shredded)
  15. Brown paper envelopes

A list of compostable products in the garden


Image: Flickr

  1. Burlap sacks (shredded)
  2. Grass clippings
  3. Leaves
  4. Dead branches (sawdust)
  5. Flowers
  6. Trimmed twigs and leaves
  7. Fallen bird’s nests
  8. Aquatic plants
  9. Silt in ponds
  10. Dead insects
  11. Compostable mulching film

A list of compostable products in the office


Image: Flickr

  1. Xerox paper (separate pages)
  2. Envelopes without plastic windows
  3. Brown paper bags
  4. Business cards
  5. Writing paper
  6. Paperbacks (separate pages after removing staples)
  7. Shredded paper
  8. White glue
  9. Pencil shavings
  10. Sticky notes

A list of compostable takeout items

  1. Compostable straws
  2. Paper napkins
  3. Compostable tableware (shredded)
  4. Compostable lunch boxes (shredded)
  5. Plastic coating-free paper cups (shredded)

Choosing compostable items changes our lives

We have listed 114 compostable products above. Whether in the bedroom, bathroom, living room, garden, office, or takeout meals, there is a myriad of compostable products available. After gaining sufficient environmental knowledge, we can choose compostable products and avoid placing compostable items in the waste bin with unrecyclable trash, so as to prevent products that can be composted and returned to the environment from ending up in landfills or incinerators. In doing so, we can realize a circular economy and make our planet cleaner and more sustainable.