What happens to your products if they end up in the landfill?

Our products are designed specifically for the environmental conditions of a commercial composting facility, which means they must have access to microorganisms, carbon, water, heat and oxygen to biodegrade within 90 days. Oxygen is especially important for breaking down organic material through a process called oxidation. 

If compostable products are placed in a landfill setting, biodegradation may occur, but much more slowly and at widely varying rates depending on the type of landfill. We encourage our customers to be skeptical of any products that claim to biodegrade or “compost” quickly in a landfill setting.

  • If placed in an open-air landfill where oxygen is available, commercially compostable products can biodegrade at similar rates to other organic materials in the same setting. However, open-air landfills often pose anaerobic conditions (without oxygen) if overcrowded and compacted tightly.  
  • If placed in a capped landfill, the most common type in the US, compostable products will be deprived of oxygen and microorganisms and the composting process will be severely restricted. This is true for all organic material, like banana peels and yard waste, placed in this air-tight environment.  

If you do not have access to commercial composting in your area, you can still transform most of your food waste and yard trimmings into nutrient-rich fertilizer using a backyard composter. Check out this Better Earth blog post to learn how to build your own backyard composter in 10 minutes or less. If none of these options are available for you, please dispose of Better Earth products in the waste bin.

But most importantly, we encourage you to join us in advocating for more composting infrastructure in the United States so that we can all close the loop between compostable products and their rightful home: the soil.