Plastic in compost responsible for extra local pollution

In the garden, you expect to be surrounded by a clean, natural environment: in reality, plastic is often an unexpected guest in the ground these days.  In many local authorities, it’s been the practice for many years to offer the residents free compost in the spring. This fertilizer turns out to often contain relatively large amounts of plastic particles. Waste processors do their best to make compost from polluted organic waste, but are thwarted by market forces. Truly clean compost costs a lot more, and the local authorities normally choose the cheaper variant which, although it satisfies legal requirements, is still polluted.

The Dutch provincial media company NH nieuws has done comprehensive research in to this form of plastic pollution, and highlights different aspects of the problem in their article: https://www.nhnieuws.nl/nieuws/245470/gemeenten-geven-vervuilde-compost-gratis-weg-aan-inwoners. One thing that is immediately apparent is that the local authorities are well aware of the problem, but that the rules are inadequate and that the standards are too broad.   When this polluted compost is applied year after year to the same garden plot, the result is a dangerous accumulation of plastic particles per square metre.

The Plastic Soup Foundation believes that plastic does not belong in the environment, the ground or in compost. The government should take steps to implement a zero-plastic norm for plastic pollution in compost. In the long run, this will be the only effective way to counter this form of plastic leakage.


Also read: Plastic soup on land agricultural compost is polluted with plastic