All organic substances spontaneously decompose and degrade in nature on a continuous basis. Composting is a controlled decomposition process that recreates spontaneous decomposition in order to transform organic waste into compost, ideally closing the waste management cycle. When used in agriculture, compost enriches the soil with nutrients in a completely natural way.
Composting can be either domestic or industrial, depending on whether it is carried out in the home with kitchen and garden waste using a special container (composter) or carried out by processing organic waste (about 40% of total municipal solid waste) using specific plants and processes.
This industrial method is also used to recycle certified compostable bioplastic packaging that is disposed of in the food waste collection system.
No bioplastic residue remains at the end of the composting process, demonstrating the complete biodegradation of certified products. Certified compostable plastics currently account for 3.9% of total organic waste by weight (source: CIC).
Every year, the recycling of compostable bioplastic packaging in Italy makes it possible to:
- produce over 2 million tonnes of compost per year
- store 375,000 tonnes of organic carbon in the soil
- save 4.3 million tonnes/year of carbon