frequently asked questions - general

what’s the problem with conventional plastic?

conventional Plastic is an extremely useful product. It can be thick, thin, clear, coloured, used to keep food fresh and build playgrounds - you can pretty much use it for anything. The huge problem we face with plastic is that it takes hundreds and hundreds of years to degrade. Since mass production of plastics began six decades ago, 8.3 billion metric tonnes of it has been made, and 6.3 billion tonnes has become waste. Of that 6.3 billion tonnes, 90.5% has never been recycled. Most of it ends up as litter and finds its way to our oceans, and at the rate we’re going, it’s predicted there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the ocean by 2050. That’s a big problem.

OK, so how long will your products take to break down?

Within 24 weeks in your compost at home, or within 12 weeks in a commercial compost facility. Our products are certified by the independent testing entity TUv austria. We’ve found in our own tests that they break down even quicker than the certification requirements!

what are the products made from?

Our products are made up from three biopolymers, including common ingredients in compostables, PBAT and pla. The polymers are blended into a compound which is then worked into our versatile material. None of our products contain any conventional plastic whatsoever. To ensure we are producing the best quality products available, we use the highest grade blend of these three materials.

How do your products compare with conventional plastic?

Our testing has shown that our products perform just as well, or better than conventional plastic. Under pressure, our mailer bags will stretch without tearing, just as plastic would. We can also tailor the thickness of your mailer bags according to your needs, i.e. if you’re sending out boxes with sharp edges you may want a thicker bag than if you’re sending out t-shirts. And don’t worry, they won’t dissolve if they get wet!

What do the certifications mean?

To get the certifications, our products had to tick three boxes:

1. They had to break down within 12 weeks in commercial compost, and 24 weeks in domestic compost conditions, including in a worm farm.
2. After they broke down, there had to be no harmful residues or toxins left behind.
3. Our products left behind a soil enhancer that helps to grow new plants. They had to contain zero conventional plastic.

What’s the difference between home and commercially compostable?

They are two different thresholds that indicate what conditions are needed for compostable packaging to break down. When something is “commercially” or “industrially” compostable, it means that it needs to go to a commercial compost facility to completely break down. This is typical of more rigid compostable packaging, such as coffee cups, or PLA trays. Commercial compost facilities are professionally maintained and typically reach temperatures of 55 - 70 degrees celsius, which is why they are able to break down the coffee cup you’re drinking from.

In contrast, home compostable simply means that the packaging will completely break down in a home compost environment. Because compost piles and bins in people’s backyards are much smaller in scale compared to commercial compost piles, they typically reach temperatures of around 25 degrees. So packaging that is home-compostable really is the gold standard, because you can break it down yourself!  

If something is labelled as just “compostable”, it usually means it is only commercially compostable - so try to find out what the certification is if you can. All good compostable products should include the certifications somewhere on the packaging.

So, what do I do with your products after I use them?

Our mailer bags can be reused as a food scrap bin liner. Once full, you can empty them into your compost pile and then pop them in as well. Compostic wrap and resealable bags can also go in your compost pile, but be sure to tear the zip off the resealable bags beforehand as they are a little thicker and will take longer to compost. We encourage you to rip them up a little as you would with cardboard, but it’s not mandatory.  

If you don’t have access to a compost pile, you can always send them to your nearest commercial composting facility that accepts compostable packaging. There are currently 12 in NZ that accept compostable packaging.  

If you’re in Auckland, our friends at We Compost run a great compost collection service for both commercial and domestic properties. There are even apps like Sharewaste which you can use to share another person’s compost!

Can I put your products in my worm bin?

Absolutely! All of our products are friendly to worms.

What about the inks used?

All of our products are only printed with soy or water based inks, to remain compost friendly.

labelling can be confusing, so what is and what isn’t compostable?

Compostable is the key word! Always look for the compostable certification logos that tell you whether or not something is compostable. There are a lot of products out there that claim to be ‘100% degradable’, and just like plastic, they are degradable...over hundreds of years. Quite often these products still contain 70-99% plastic, with only 1-30% biodegradable polymers. These products are worse for the environment because they break down into microplastics, which get into waterways, soil, even our food. Look out for the term compostable as opposed to biodegradable, and with compostable products, always look for those certification logos.

Are they non-GMO (genetically modified) and BPA (Bisphenol A) free?

Yes, all of our products are non-GMO, and BPA free.

How else do your products help?

Organic waste is a huge problem around the world, including in NZ. Currently, Kiwis send around 229,000 tonnes of organic waste to landfill each year, and it’s estimated that 40% of landfill waste is organic matter. When organic waste sits in landfill, it doesn’t get the oxygen it needs to break down properly. Instead, it breaks down over a much longer period and releases methane as it does so - a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. So, by using our products and composting them with your food scraps, you’re not only reducing on plastic, you’re also helping to fight climate change.

Fortunately, much of these methane gasses created in landfill are captured and converted to electricity and gas.

Who are the people behind compostic?

Compostic is run by Jon and Josh. We’re a Kiwi-owned and operated business trying to do our bit to make the world a better place, and do good things with good people. Jump on Facebook or Instagram, give us a follow and say hi!

compostic wrap

What is it?

Compostic wrap is the world’s first functioning home-compostable cling wrap. It works just like the conventional plastic cling wrap you know, but won’t stick around for hundreds of years polluting our environment after you’ve used it. It’s certified to break down completely in your compost within 12-24 weeks.

What is it made from?

We can’t disclose the exact blend of ingredients in our wrap for IP reasons, but the common ingredients in most compostable products including our wrap, are pla (polylactic acid) and pbat (polybutylene adipate terephthalate). while our ingredients are all compostable, they are not yet 100% renewable as the pbat material is a petroleum based polymer. we don't like it either, so we are constantly researching potential alternatives for this component in our effort to provide fully renewable alternatives that will still produce a high quality product. watch this space!

Is it home-compostable?

Yes, compostic wrap is certified home-compostable and will break down completely in your home compost within 12-24 weeks, or within 12 weeks in a commercial compost facility.

Why is it green?

We wanted to make it easy for you to distinguish compostic wrap from non compostable plastic wrap, so that you don’t find yourself accidentally putting conventional plastic wrap in your compost bin.

where is my cutter, how can i cut the wrap?

Compostic wrap is pre-perforated every 33cm. These portions are about the size of your average dinner plate, so should fit most wrapping scenarios. If you find you need a larger piece, you can simply tear at the second perforation and the two will hold together. Great for your convenience, and your conscience.  

We wanted to provide you with a product that was as zero-waste as possible, which is why we chose to not include a plastic cutter. It’s also why the packaging is compostable and recyclable, and why we’ve used soy-based ink for printing.  

We’re always looking for opportunities to make our products better, so if you have any suggestions or feedback for us about the wrap, we’d love to hear from you: hi@compostic.co.nz

how long before it starts breaking down on my shelf?

It’ll be ok for about 12 months before it starts to lose durability. We don’t want them around forever remember! Store in a cool, dry place, such as a cupboard or draw and you’ll have plenty of time to use them.

compostic resealable bags

What are they?

Compostic resealable bags are just like the resealable bags you know and love, only much better for our environment. They are home compostable, so once you’ve used them and re-used them for storing your food, marinating that steak, or keeping those nuts and bolts in one place, you can pop them in your compost and they’ll break down within 12-24 weeks.

It says to snip the zip, do I have to?

Our bags ask you to snip their zip because it won’t compost as quick! The zip is slightly thicker PLA, and so will take much longer to break down in a home compost compared to the rest of the bag. The zip is still commercially compostable, so if you have a compost collection service like Auckland’s We Compost picking up your organic waste and compostable packaging, you can throw the bag in there whole for them to collect.

What sizes do they come in?

Sandwich size: 18cm x 17cm (15 pack)
Snack size: 15cm x 9cm (20 pack)

Can I reuse them?

Yes, please do!

How long before they start breaking down on my shelf?

They’ll be ok on your shelf for about 12 months before they start to lose durability. We don’t want them around forever remember! Store them in a cool, dry place, such as a cupboard or draw and you’ll have plenty of time to use them.

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