Interest in small scale composting systems is currently growing, and this in turn raises the question of whether the compostable bags are as suitable as in industrial composting facilities. In this work the physical degradation percentage of compostable lightweight bioplastic bags in two types of composter was examined. The main goal was to understand whether the mild biodegrading conditions that occur in electromechanical or static home composters are sufficient to cause effective bag degradation in times consistent with the householders’ or operators’ expectations. Bags, which complied with standard EN 13432, were composted in a number of 600 L static home composters, which were run in different ways (e.g., fed only with vegetables and yard waste, optimizing the hu-mid/bulking agent fraction, poorly managed) and a 1 m3 electromechanical composter. Six months of residence time in static home composters resulted in 90–96 wt% degradation depending on the management approach adopted, and two months in the electromechanical composter achieved 90 wt%. In the latter case, three additional months of curing treatment of the turned heaps ensured complete physical degradation. In conclusion, in terms of the level and times of physical degradation, the use of compostable bioplastic bags appeared promising and consistent with home composting practices.

Assessment of Disintegration of Compostable Bioplastic Bags by Management of Electromechanical and Static Home Composters

Lorenzo Maria Cafiero;Margherita Canditelli;Fabio Musmeci;Riccardo Tuffi
2020-01-01

Abstract

Interest in small scale composting systems is currently growing, and this in turn raises the question of whether the compostable bags are as suitable as in industrial composting facilities. In this work the physical degradation percentage of compostable lightweight bioplastic bags in two types of composter was examined. The main goal was to understand whether the mild biodegrading conditions that occur in electromechanical or static home composters are sufficient to cause effective bag degradation in times consistent with the householders’ or operators’ expectations. Bags, which complied with standard EN 13432, were composted in a number of 600 L static home composters, which were run in different ways (e.g., fed only with vegetables and yard waste, optimizing the hu-mid/bulking agent fraction, poorly managed) and a 1 m3 electromechanical composter. Six months of residence time in static home composters resulted in 90–96 wt% degradation depending on the management approach adopted, and two months in the electromechanical composter achieved 90 wt%. In the latter case, three additional months of curing treatment of the turned heaps ensured complete physical degradation. In conclusion, in terms of the level and times of physical degradation, the use of compostable bioplastic bags appeared promising and consistent with home composting practices.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/66249
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