White Paper: Microplastics in Compost – The Environmental Hazards Inherent in the Composting of Plastic-Coated Paper Products

Updated in 2018

Plastic-coated paper products collected by many composting programs produce both macro and micro-fragments of non-biodegradable plastic, which then contaminate finished compost and the soils where this compost is applied. These fragments may then be transported by wind and water into nearby ecosystems, and ultimately into marine ecosystems, adding to the growing and serious problem of plastic pollution. PLEASE NOTE: As of April 2023, compost guidelines for Colorado Front Range communities have changed to accept food scraps and yard & plant trimmings ONLY. Certified compostable service ware and non-plastic-coated papers are no longer accepted in curbside compost in this region.