23 Aug '12, 12pm

Is your cup compostable — or just biodegrable? And why does it matter again?

Is your cup compostable — or just biodegrable? And why does it matter again?

For all our environmental woes, the U.S. is making progress in one exciting area: The word “compost” is becoming a household term, while more and more cities are starting to implement wide-scale composting programs. And this shift is good for more than just our landfills. We Americans are pretty wasteful when it comes to food — it’s the single largest type of municipal solid waste that ends up in landfills — and throwing it out with the trash leads to methane emissions , a greenhouse gas that makes carbon dioxide look harmless. But as composting becomes more popular, so do the companies trying to capitalize on the uptick: The number of packaging products marketed as compostable — or with claims that people might equate with compostable, such as “biodegradable” or “plant-based” — has exploded. Like the natural foods market, where highly processed snacks with genetically mod...

Full article: http://grist.org/food/is-your-cup-compostable-or-just-bio...

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