Wax paper can be used for a variety of tasks in the house, including rolling out dough and packing sandwiches. While wax paper can be reused a few times, it will inevitably outshine its effectiveness, leaving you unsure how to discard it in the most environmentally friendly manner.
Since wax paper cannot be recycled alongside standard paper, most waste management facilities will not allow it for recycling; thus, what other options do you have besides tossing it away in the garbage bin? Gardeners who enjoy composting have contemplated throwing their used wax paper into their compost piles and allowing nature to run its course. Is wax paper, on the other hand, compostable or also biodegradable?
Wax paper can be manufactured in several ways even though it all performs the same function. For instance, there is bleached versus unbleached wax paper. Compostability is unaffected by the form of paper used and all types of paper are compostable on their own. The most critical distinction among wax papers is one that is seldom printed on the packaging, and for which you will need to approach the supplier if you are really interested: the type of wax utilized.
Soybean wax is used in some wax paper products, while paraffin is used in others. It is necessary for those who use paraffin to determine if it is made from vegetable oils or petroleum. Depending on what is in the wax, you will be able to tell if composting is a smart idea or not. As you all might already know, petroleum should not be composted because they are not nutritious or suitable for the microbes in your compost bin or yard.
While the substances listed above comprise the majority of commonly produced wax papers, a more environmentally friendly wax paper material has been produced. Researchers at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have devised a method for making a vegetable-based, non-wax coating for the wax paper using a readily available corn protein.
The protein, known as zein, resists water and is easy to mass-produce, making it an excellent choice for replacing wax coatings. It is all biodegradable, which means it won’t seep harmful compounds onto the atmosphere when it decomposes.
A lot of people have asked me whether wax paper is compostable. As I previously said, paper coated with wax derived from soybean oil is compostable. Even though soybean wax is organic, it is still wax, which microbes have a hard time digesting. Paraffin-based wax paper, on the other end, is normally covered with vegetable oil or petroleum.
Even though vegetable oil wax, like soybean oil wax, is organic, microorganisms have a hard time digesting wax paper covered with vegetable oil wax. Petroleum-based paraffin wax is inorganic and is not appropriate for composting or usage in your backyard. Even during the processing, suppliers also apply bleach and chlorine to wax papers. And obviously, this is not suitable for composting.
Despite being biodegradable, wax paper is difficult to compost. In certain cases, trying isn’t even advised. Composting wax at home will add highly poisonous or cancer-causing compounds to your manure, which can then eventually wind up in your home-grown plants, based on the type of wax involved.
While some of the lighter petroleum compounds can be broken down, this is only likely if the soil has the appropriate microorganisms, which isn’t always the scenario. Just about 90 percent of oil-based molecules can be degraded, under the most ideal environments. The other 10 percent consists of heavier, more complex hydrocarbons that are not biodegradable.
Hydrocarbons, which are believed to cause cancer, can quickly make their way into nutrition if they are found in high enough amounts in agricultural soil. Petroleum-based chemicals should never be used in your compost or greenhouse.
Composting wax paper made of vegetable-based waxes is completely effective, but it can take much more time than you expect. The same qualities that make wax paper waterproof make it difficult to disintegrate for bacteria and other decomposers. As a result, although it will ultimately decompose, it will take a very long time.
Waxed papers are not only useful, but they also have certain ecological advantages making them appealing as eco-friendly packaging options. Any waxed papers are biodegradable both naturally and biologically. Decomposition of wax papers based on soybean oil or vegetable oil may take anything from two weeks to a month.
According to EuroWaxPack’s study, the waxed paper used meets EN 12432’s 90 percent proportionate biodegradability requirements. In addition, the French Micro app Organization obtained a Vincotte OK compost permit in 2012. It was granted the license for its organic soybean oil-based wax paper-coated meat and cheese wrap product.
As you might already know, wax paper is very useful. But, if you like baking and gardening, the inability to recycle wax paper effectively can be a disadvantage. The content used to coat the wax paper determines if it can be composted, but if you have any extra bread from your cooking, you’ll be happy to hear the bread can also be composted.
There is no need to fret if you use a lot of wax paper but don’t like the thought of the discarded wax paper filling up dumpsites. Lessen the number of wax paper you discard to decrease the quantity of wax paper in the landfill. While the wax paper is not recyclable due to its waxy surface, there are a few items you can do to keep it out of the landfill.
You should remember to reuse the wax paper as much as feasible. Wax paper is simple to clean and reuse. Using recyclable substitutes like cellulose bags or other waste-reducing solutions to lessen the quantities of wax paper you use daily.
If you are a dedicated composter with a set of tools, you should create a second compost pile and add the wax paper that is no longer viable, allowing it to decompose over years. That being said, it will be a few years before you have available compost. As a result, you may compost the wax paper using the cold compost method.
While using waxed paper with an edible wax coating, such as soybean oil-based wax or vegetable oil wax, it can take two to six weeks in the landfill to break down completely. Besides that, it would take a long time for a petroleum-based or paraffin oil-based coated waxed paper to biodegrade entirely.
Given that it is inorganic and therefore cannot be decomposed or recycled, I believe it would take a thousand years to break down fully. To summarize, the length of time it takes for waxed paper to biodegrade is primarily determined by the substance used to create it. If you are set on using and composting wax paper, make sure to get the petroleum-free option at the cash register. The last option you want is for those tasty cranberry pastries to contain toxic oil molecules.
Another recommendation I have for you is that if you are serious about decomposing your waste, you can double-check the kinds of waste you have so that you don’t spoil your batch of composting items because you missed the essence of your waste.
As a result, if your disposal is waxed paper and you can’t say if it is composed of soybean oil or petroleum, you could probably throw that away in your garbage can rather than your compostable waste container, since I am certain you would not like to ruin your collection of compost.
In conclusion, wax paper is not only useful for culinary applications, as well as for a variety of other tasks such as cleaning cabinets, quick funneling, cleaning, can opener cleaner, microwave protection, and so forth. One main point to note is that petroleum-based wax paper, as well as all other substances containing petroleum or petroleum by-products, can never be composted.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article about Wax Paper being Compostable and Biodegradable! The bottom line is that, while it is best to keep wax paper out of your compost area it is biodegradable and, in some cases, compostable if you are prepared to put in the hard work and dedication. Let me know all your thoughts and queries in the comments section below!