Food and garden recycling in the bag!

Cromwell Polythene Managing Director, James Lee outlines recycling options for organic waste

Food and garden waste collections are becoming increasingly prevalent, with a growing number of local authorities collecting these materials for recycling via composting facilities or anaerobic digestion (AD). This helps divert waste from landfill, reduces harmful greenhouse gases and provides valuable compost and biofertiliser for the land, or renewable energy.

It’s difficult for people to home compost all food waste. Uncooked vegetable peelings are great home composting material, but cooked vegetable material and baked foods can compost slowly and inefficiently and attract vermin.  

Compostable bags play a key role in the effectiveness of local authority collection of these materials, helping to remove potential barriers to participation in these recycling schemes. Benefits of the bags include ease of distribution and collection, and hygienic storage for households and businesses, whilst keeping odours to a minimum. The bags help keep the process of emptying caddies or bins as straightforward as possible, without the need to wash the food caddy or wheeled bin.

Effective recycling strategies

Cromwell Polythene offers a range of compostable bags to support local authority recycling strategies. These bags are made from Ecopond® biodegradable resin – for which Cromwell Polythene is the sole distributor among local authorities and the recycling and waste management sector in England and Wales.

Available in a wide range of sizes, the biodegradable bags for the collection of kitchen and garden waste are manufactured from starch and lactide acid-based derivatives of plant sources. They meet the stringent criteria of the European composting standard, EN13432, which requires more than 90% of the plastic mass to be converted into biomass, CO2 and water, without harmful residue. Ecopond® compostable bags fully decompose within six weeks in a compost environment.

A ‘more bags please’ re-order tag can be incorporated in each roll of liners to enable re-ordering. To request more liners, the householder attaches the re-order tag to the bin handle.

Cromwell Polythene also offers a comprehensive selection of fit for purpose AD-friendly bags. The liners can be conveniently removed with debagging equipment at the front end of AD plants.

They are lightweight and fit a range of standard kitchen caddies and kerbside bins and come in a choice of straight top or vest style tie handle.

Research from WRAP indicates that “providing householders … with the tools and materials they need to recycle results in an increase in the amount of food waste captured for recycling.” Alongside the introduction of compostable bags, communication is vital to remind them how to separate their food and gardening waste and the merits of the scheme. Clear communication avoids unnecessary contamination of household materials and can help recycling become second nature.