Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Sunchip bag? -- just throw it out."

You've probably seen this Sunchips ad by now right?

Well a Canadian Municipality is saying, 'hold it, don't recycle that bag just yet.'

Earlier this year, Frito-Lay Canada introduced compostable Sun Chips bags to the Ontario market place. While the concept is commendable, unfortunately, due to the length of time it takes these bags to break down in a municipal composting system, they are not accepted in the Region's Green Bin Program at this time.The Sun Chips bags are made of polylactic acid, which is a corn starch-based product similar to that which is used in the compostable liner bags that are accepted in the Region's organics program. Both products compost under the right conditions, however, the Sun Chips bags have three layers of and compost in about 14 weeks, while the bin liner bags are a single layer and break down in three to four weeks.

The Walkers' Gore™ Composting Facility, which processes the Region's Green Bin material, produces compost in eight weeks. As such, the Sun Chips bag may not fully break down in the composting process. Bags that do not fully break down would be screened out and landfilled. It's a shame really, Frito Lay is spending a lot of money on this program, but the bags simply take too long to process in a composting program.