Caffe Prima uses compostable Econic bags to package its freshly roasted coffee. The films and adhesives used in the manufacture of Econic bags are certified compostable to the European Standard EN13432. This means that they will break down in good composting conditions (containing heat, moisture, oxygen, microbes and soil), and when they do, the quality of the compost is maintained.
As council services are not yet collecting compostable packaging, we wanted to provide you with information on how to optimise the home composting process for the econic bags.
The home compost breakdown can be much slower than commercial compost (where temperatures are maintained at 40°C and 60°C and the bags breakdown in approximately 16 weeks) and will vary depending on environmental factors. Home compost with a temperature of 20-30°C will promote much quicker breakdown rates (approximately 35 weeks) than those at 2-5°C (breakdown can take up to two years).
Heat, moisture, oxygen, microbes and composting material (including soil) are all vital elements in ensuring the composting occurs. The following tips are to help enable effective composting rates:
- Remove any stickers and the non-compostable vent label.
- Fill the empty bas with food waste/soil/compost/coffee grinds as this helps the internal breakdown. Otherwise bags should be shredded or opened out flat to increase the surface area available for microbiological attack.
- Ensure the bag is fully buried in the soil (this increases moisture around the bag).
- Turn the compost each fortnight – this introduces more oxygen and raises the composting temperature. Make sure the bags are buried again once you have turned the compost.
For more information on setting up home composts:
Most council websites have information on how to set up active home compost, including information on how to get a good carbon to nitrogen ration, and what material not to put into composts.