Frequently Asked Questions
What is the harm in plastic?
Plastics are made from numerous petroleum-based chemicals and additives.
Many of these
have proven to be carcinogenic and have other harmful effects on the planet’s inhabitants. The chemical makeup of these compounds causes the products made from them to become
More and more studies are showing
traditional plastics are suffocating, strangling, and starving life on this planet.
So how do we fix this plastic problem?
We can’t change history, but what we can do is learn from it. It is going to take all of us together to look outside the box for solutions for the current plastic problem on our planet and in our waterways.
More importantly, it is going to take innovation and willingness to look at alternatives to the traditional plastic production and consumption on our planet.
create a complete solution at an affordable price point to begin, only then with more education & innovation will the fight against plastics truly starts.
How can you make a difference?
Be part of the change!
Start with being more conscious about your packaging choices. Replacing plastic films and bags with compostable materials when available, reuse as much as possible and always be thinking about what happens next?
Keep your eyes open for other options, remember it is not just about packaging it is about the end of life process and also what happens next.
What are bioplastics?
Bioplastics can be made from many different types of polymers but
are a type of biodegradable plastic that is derived from biological substances rather than petroleum.
There are lots of different standards of bioplastics and some of them
can unfortunately contain petroleum. So for consumers, this is where certificates can help us easily identify what has been independently tested and certified.
Biodegradable plastics conform to all criteria of scientific standards. For example, the standard EN 13432, ASTM D6400, is for biodegradability and compostability of plastics and plastic products.
In this class the compositions of plastics do not necessarily contain renewable materials.
Bio-based plastics are based on renewable resources, for example: corn, cellulose, sugar cane etc., in order to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.
It should be noted that plastics in this class do not necessarily have to be biodegradable or compostable.
What’s the difference between biodegradable and compostable?
the products will decompose in a microbial environment. There is no guarantee that it will completely degrade and no guarantee how long it will take to degrade.
Compostable means that
a product is capable of breaking down into natural elements like water, carbon dioxide and biomass in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil.
Biodegradable material is not necessarily compostable but Compostable material is
Can I store fruit and vegetables in Compost Me bags?
Yes, in fact Compost Me bags breathe which helps preserve the shelf life of your product.
If you are using one of our barrier/roll bags, we encourage reusing them as much as possible.
Can I put Compost Me bags into my compost at home?
Yes. Compost Me bags are certified as OK home compost, and can be composted at home. You can also bury them in your backyard and they will break down.
If I throw compost me bags in the rubbish will they Breakdown in a landfill?
It is untested as to how long this process would take in New Zealand. However Compost Me bags will react in landfills like other organic waste such as food; the overall understanding is
yes they will, but it will be over time. There are some studies as more research comes available about landfill testing.
Any compostable materials will break down over time - but
in the right compostable environment our bags break down in less than 90 days.
Are your bags reusable?
Yes, of course! Compost Me bags have many different applications aside from the traditional bin liner. They can be used to help you move house, line your pack for a tramp, protecting your fruit and veggies on your way home from the supermarket and collecting garden waste, the list goes on.
Obviously, you may not want to reuse them again when they have had rubbish in though.
Are compost me bags recyclable?
No. Compost Me bags are
designed to decompose. With innovation and technology in such a fast state of change, we have heard about the development of a new biopolymer that can be recycled. We are watching this new technology very closely and will keep you in the loop.
Recycled and recyclable products have their place in the world of green meetings, but they are NOT biodegradable nor are they compostable.
Once recyclable products make it to the landfill they can remain intact for many years and in some cases, forever.
How strong is a Compost Me bag?
Compost Me bags are
made in a different manner to traditional plastic bags making them stronger.
Compost Me film
is biaxially oriented; which means if the film is punctured the bag will have a hole but
will not tear or run, making it still usable. This technology requires less material for the same or better strength.
How long can I store my Compost Me bags?
Compost Me bags have a shelf life up to 18 months. We recommend keeping them in a cool dry place. It is important to remember these bags are designed to breakdown and go back to nature.
How long does a Compost Me bag Take to breakdown or compost?
Compost Me bags and films
will break down within 90 days after disposal in a microbial environment (compost system), leaving no toxic or harmful residues behind. Check out our
test video and
Can I use Compost Me bags in the freezer?
Yes. Compost Me bags are
well-suited for cold applications such as in the freezer (this is good news since chemicals from conventional plastic tend to leach into food when frozen).
Hot Tip: If you don’t have a home composter, there is a way to share your food scraps with friends or family that have one. Just freeze the scraps in our bags and hand over to them
Is there a price difference between compostable and traditional packaging?
Yes. As the world starts to change over, we will see these cost come down. Most packaging is changing as more R & D (Research and Development) is completed it is just some solutions are further along than others.
Can I use the bags if I am allergic to corn?
Yes. The allergen agent, profilin, is destroyed during the manufacturing process.
Why would I use compostable bags if I am only putting non-compostable waste in them?
We all have to start somewhere, or we continue to be “the problem”.
Standard plastic bags are known to be harmful to the environment as well as producing greenhouse gases.
Whilst the bag is compostable,
non-compostable items in it will not breakdown in a similar way.
It is time to do the right thing, so
by using compostable bags it will also promote the thought process around composting. Something that is long overdue.
Do Compost Me products contain genetically modified organisms (GMO)?
No. GMO corn is an issue in the USA and from USA based products, our corn is sourced from China.
Where is all the corn grown to make these bags?
China. The Chinese government has implemented a subsidy policy for corn in previous years to make use of the large corn reserves the country has gathered over the last decade.
Why are Compost Me bin liners green?
Our Compost Me bin liners are green in colour so they can be identified in the sorting process of soft plastic and be disposed of correctly.
Can we change all packaging over to compostable?
Yes and No. In an ideal world that would be great, however some packaging may still require a traditional solution as the technology is not quite there for a compostable alternative.
The good news is there are some product lines are already competitive with compostable solutions compared to traditional plastics. What we are finding is some solutions can be converted to compostable, but can have large costs involved as the technology and innovation is not quite there yet.
Are compostable products bioplastics?
Yes, they are made from biological substances.
All Compost Me bags and films hold internationally recognised certifications.
How do you test compostable packaging products?
Compost Me works with manufacturers who get independent laboratories to test our products.
The final product undergoes strict testing to ensure that any compostable product produced meet the criteria.
Should I put my collected dog poop bags into my compost?
No. Our doggy bags can be composted but because the poo collected in the bags has harmful bacteria, it is not to be used in your home composter. We recommend you bury it separately.
What is the deal with methane?
Methane is a byproduct of our waste problem. Mainly from farming, agriculture & landfills all of which have a human component to them. There is a huge amount of innovation happening in this space around capturing the gas and turning it into a usable fuel, not just for vehicles but also for whole new sub-developments.
Check out John Scandrett and Fortuna Group’s initiative on
turning methane and greenhouse gases into a significant electric power source in New Zealand.
I have heard your bags let off methane?
Yes they do, just like any other organic material. An apple produces more methane when decomposing than a Compostable Bag when breaking down.