BREAKING DOWN CompostabilityMay 25 2023
So, you’ve tried our incredible chocolate truffles and are in awe of the taste, and the health benefits, and the inspirational stories behind the cacao and coconut farmers…and the taste! You may be wondering about these little wrappers and what exactly does “Please compost this wrapper” mean? What are these things made of anyway? What’s the DEAL? You are in the right place.
We worked closely with our chocolatier and packaging manufacturer to source an uncompromisingly and truly eco-friendly wrapper for our Truffles and Nut Butter Bombs. Well they didn’t have one, so we pushed further into the supply chain and worked with the individual sources to see what kind of wrapper we could come up with that not only protected the delicate flavor of the truffle, but disappeared easily and safely when finished with it. Truly guilt free!
The end result is a wrapper made of certified Home Compostable metalized Natureflex printed with certified Home Compostable non-toxic ink. The “metalized” part is an extremely thin layer of aluminum (measured in microns- you can see through it) in order to protect the chocolate from oxidation. (this means freshness for the rest of us!) The Natureflex is made from FSC certified eucalyptus and birch trees, sourced from specific plantations in South America and South Africa. Other inks are a myriad of pigments which can contain heavy metals and evil binders, but ours were sourced from the most pure pigments with renewable binders. We think they look pretty good. What do you think?
We are the first in North America to have such an eco-pure package And we are very proud!
Let’s come back to composting for a moment. We mentioned these were “Home” compostable. This actually has a defined meaning. The alternative, for the sake of this post, is “Industrial”.
What’s the difference between Home and Industrial Compost?
Without getting too complicated, the main differences are time and temperature. In a Home Compost setting, the material must break down to carbon-dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable materials, such as cellulose, and leave no toxic residue. To be truly compostable, the end result of the decomposition must be usable humus(the organic component of soil). The idea is like a forest floor- it never gets too hot, and it’s exposed to a varying range of moisture, temperature and microorganisms. In short, the conditions are varied which makes the process slower and more challenging.
In an industrial setting, all parameters are controlled. This means the material structure (size of particles), moisture content, aeration (availability of oxygen), temperature, pH, carbon/nitrogen ratio. Material which is deemed “industrial compostable” must be brought to one of these special facilities to be broken down. One of the key differences of an industrial composting facility is the fact that there is regular turning, and moisture and temperatures get monitored during the composting process, achieving over 55 degrees Celsius for a consistent period of time. This will allow certain materials to break down better and faster, and it will kill potentially harmful bacteria from certain foods, such as meat, dairy and cooked foods that are not recommended for home compost situations. This is why those compostable bio-plastic forks aren’t composting in your backyard—they require higher temperatures, shredding (particle reduction) and controlled moisture in order to properly break down into usable material.
What to do with the wrapper if you don’t have a compost heap in the backyard or a backyard for that matter?
We have a few suggestions:
- If you do have a compost pile, consider it a carbon-containing input, like leaves.
- Put it in the green bin (yard waste, or municipal compost pickup)
- Bury it in your garden. Worms love it.
- Put it in your fireplace. It’s essentially a fancy looking piece of paper and will burn quickly and safely!
- Do Not recycle it. It’s not recyclable material. It will be a contaminant to paper-recycling due to its “plasticized” nature.
- If you have no other options, the correct one is straight up landfill.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. You can always reach out with any questions, comments, or encouragement- we love hearing from you!