Few consumers know the difference between industrial and home compostable product, and false beliefs have often arisen that compromise the proper disposal of both.

First of all it must be said that both, if disposed of correctly, will become compost i.e. fertilizer for agriculture. But where have they to be disposed?

THE INDUSTRIAL  COMPOSTABLE PRODUCT MUST BE DISPOSED IN THE DOMESTIC WASTE COLLECTION to be collected and taken to composting centres, where large masses of organic waste become compost under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. Industrial composting takes place according to EN13432, the harmonized European standard for compostable packaging. A product is 'industrial compostable' when it is biodegradable and when its biodegradation does not cause harmful effects on the environment, it must therefore not interfere in any way with the correct plant growth of the soil in which the generated compost is used.

THE HOMECOMPOSTABLE PRODUCT MUST BE DISPOSED  IN THE GARDEN COMPOSTER and is normally used as compost for private use, to fertilize  vegetables or garden. Home compost is not regulated by European standards, the HOME certificate is currently issued by some independent laboratories according to their own internal method, without official references. For this reason, even if the home composting conditions are normally more severe than the industrial one, those who do not have a composter and want to dispose the home product into the domestic organic waste, will have to verify if this product is also industrial certified.

The PPWR, the Packaging Regulation currently under discussion in Europe, considers only those disposable packaging in industrial plants to be composted, where the process can be reproduced on a large scale regardless of external climatic conditions.