This Trellis Earth product has created a lot of problems in the guise of offering a solution!

It is not 100% biobased, nor is it compostable, let alone BPI certified.

It claims to be Zero Waste Event Compatible, but since it cannot be composted, it fools food vendors into paying a premium for these forks and spoons who then get mad at us for saying it is not approved serviceware at our Zero Waste Events!

We then have to let vendors use them (as the event has started and there is no close by alternative) because they are “in the spirit” of things, or to really anger them and leave no alternative. I could also keep a stock of hundreds of thousands of actually compostable products to sell, but common, it’s the LAW to use compostable cutlery in San Francisco where I mostly find these rogue forks. 

So our crew ends up painstakingly sorting them out of the compost stream, or we let them go through so the compost facility (operated by Recology) can deal with ‘em. If they do go to compost, and don’t end up composting, then they might get screened out and landfilled. However, this might give them the impression that ALL “compostable” forks and spoons perform poorly and do not actually degrade in the compost.

This has major ramifications! If there are actually compostable forks on the market that are biobased and compostable, but if there are imitation products like these also around, consumers will be confused, processors will be confused and the whole system will break down so we cannot easily compost food scraps at large events.

The real purpose of these items is to facilitate the capture of organics for composting, particularly food waste. If these items end up contaminating compost and making collection, processing and marketing of compost more expensive (and with more fossil content), the whole industry suffers.

For more info on bioplastics, check out:http://www.sustainablebiomaterials.org/emerging.materials.php