Better Bottle Composting
Compostable Bottle and Label Materials.
Our Better Bottles and labels are made from compostable plant-based biomaterials. To be certified compostable, the product must be able to break down in a commercial compost in under 180 days and under-go an eco toxicity test.
Better Bottles mostly break down to their natural state of carbon and water and biomass. We know that many people don't compost at home, especially not to a commercial standard, and this is why we have our Better Collection system that enables us to compost used bottles for you in one of our own compost sites. Read more about our Better Bottle returns system here.
We use certified compostable materials but wanted to put our bottles to the test and see how quickly they could break down as a complete product under the right conditions. For The Better Good commissioned Go Well Consulting to test our Better Bottles using a composting system that is 1.2 cubic meters in size, heats up above 55 degrees.
In this original test, two bottles were used. The first was cut into 2cm pieces and the other was composted whole. The bottles were then dug up and checked after 5 and 27 days. We decided to include traditional plastic rings to give some perspective on how the different materials break down. Usually, bottles that are returned through our collection system have both the caps and rings individually removed before composting.
After 5 days: The shredded bottle is on the left (in the cage) and what was of the whole bottle is on the board
The individual pieces you can see were described as 'Fragile and Brittle' by Go Well Consulting after just 5 days. There was already significant degradation of the full bottle.
After 27 days the bottles were dug up once again. No remains of the bottles were found. Below is what was left of the shredded bottle after the 27 days.
The test, which was focussed on the degradation time of our Better Bottles (note: toxicity of the compost was not tested in this trial) concluded that the whole bottle was completely composted in under 27 days which was an incredible result.
Since these original tests, we have begun to processes higher quantities of Better Bottles at the same time and received similar results. This is a journey and we are constantly learning about the best practise of composting these promising materials.