Industrial Composting: What It Is and How It Works

image comparing how long it takes for conventional plastic to decompose compared to bioplastics

The world is awash in traditional, petroleum-based plastics that are choking our waterways and filling up our landfills. Here at UrthPact, we’re committed to compostable plastic products, providing manufacturers and consumers with the plastics they want and need, but created using environmentally-friendly, biodegradable raw materials that can be safely composted to nourish the earth.

Today, in addition to the conventional backyard compost pile or bin that can efficiently handle small amounts of waste materials from lawns, gardens and kitchens there are industrial composting facilities designed to effectively process large volumes of municipal and commercial waste.

There are basically three techniques used in industrial composting: windrow, in-vessel, and aerated static pile composting. Windrow composting is an open-air process that places the composting material into long piles approximately 5 feet high called “windrows.” These windrows are turned regularly to ensure that all the composting materials spends some time in the warm, moist center of the pile where bacterial activity produces heat that encourages further breakdown. Because windrow composting is on open air process, it is used primarily for yard and garden waste to help control odor.


UrthPact, Preserve, and Totally Green Bottles and Caps Score at the Green Sports Alliance Summit

All National Sports Leagues attend – Bill Walton Keynotes

Paul Nickerson of UrthPact and Brian O’Donnell of Preserve with an array of compostable and recycled content products

UrthPact teamed up with our customers Preserve and Totally Green Bottles and Caps to sponsor and share an exhibit booth at the Green Sports Alliance Summit. The conference took place in the newly built, energy efficient (LEED platinum certified) Golden 1 Center in Sacramento California. All of the major sports leagues in the country attended including the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS,  and NASCAR.  Many colleges, and universities, as well as international and lesser known leagues like USA Waterski, also attended.

We became a sponsor due to the strong presence of the leagues and their ability to support sustainable practices in their facilities. Since our main products are compostable plastic products, venues with closed-loop waste streams that contain and isolate the disposal of compostables are ideal.  Stadiums, airports, colleges and large corporate campuses fit this closed-loop model well.  This ensures that our customers’ compostable bottles, plates, and compostable cutlery get to the proper end-of-life destination.

From the onset of the summit, I sensed that this conference was to be like no other. As a sponsor and exhibitor, we were encouraged to participate in all of the conference sessions. We were invited to mix and mingle with attendees at all of the events, including meals and conference activities. This made our team feel more like partners than vendors.  A welcome change to the usual vendor/attendee relationship. And on a side note, the food was fantastic. The chef and his staff actually received a standing O at the evening celebration and ECO-fashion show. (Sacramento State University students designed and modeled recycled and upcycled clothing in their annual Student Fashion Association Fashion Show at the event. Way to go SAC State!) And hats off to the events planners of the Green Sports Alliance Summit.


Insights and Innovations at Biobased Re-Revolution of Plastics

Biobased Re-Revolution of PlasticsWe got a chance to connect with UrthPact’s own VP of Technology, Derek Helmer, and VP of Operations, Mike Pousland, about their recent trip to Newark, NJ for the InnoPlast Solutions Conference, May 23-25th.  The InnoPlast Solutions goal is to adopt a mission related to plastics, innovation, and business growth and select a team of technical and business savvy experts to educate participants.  The conference offers solid networking opportunities as well for the plastic and bioplastic industry.  The focus and theme of this year’s conference, BioBased Re-Revolution of Plastics, was to highlight the utilization of non-fossil raw materials that leads to preservation of petroleum resources and reduction of air/ land/ water pollution.

As far as the UrthPact team is concerned, this conference delivered a great value as it was full of participant engagement and packed full of information rich presentations showcasing topics related to the bio-industry.

Without a doubt, the biggest take-away was the strong drive on the part of attendees and presenters to replace petroleum as a feedstock for polymers before the Earth runs out of oil or oil prices become too high. Research has shown that solutions to this pressing problem will be found in developing bio-based replacements for existing polymers such as BioPE, BioPET, PEF, and PTF or finding new polymers that can replace existing materials such as PHA that do not source from oil.


Urthpact is Now Manufacturing Single-use Recycled Flatware

Preserve-Cutlery-GroupUrthpact is excited to announce that we’re now manufacturing high-quality, single-use recyclable plastic flatware for food service suppliers, grocery stores, and other food services companies. This high-quality, fully recyclable plastic flatware will enable food service providers to provide their customers with environmentally-friendly products that will help create a more satisfying customer experience and build brand loyalty with environmentally-conscious consumers.

Waltham Massachusetts based consumer products company Preserve has tapped UrthPact to manufacture the single-use plastic cutlery and dispensers using 100% recycled polypropylene (#5) plastic collected through Preserve’s Gimme 5 plastic recycling program. The company recently exhibited its new line of earth-friendly food service products including the new UrthPact produced recycled cutlery and dispenser at the National Restaurant Association show.

It is exciting to be producing these sturdy and attractive recycled utensils right here in the USA using manufacturing facilities that have been certified by the global food safety organization AIB International to ensure the highest levels of quality.