So… what do you do when your bamboo item has reached the end of its life? Is bamboo compostable?
Well, this depends greatly upon what the item is composed of… Composting is a great way to recycle yard waste such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, weeds, and dead houseplants, as well as food scraps from the kitchen. And if you have ever grown bamboo yourself, you will know that some (compostable) garden waste is produced.
Is the product 100% bamboo? The rule of thumb is – if the item that is made of bamboo is just made of a piece of bamboo without additional elements like glue, paint, plastic / inorganic parts, then you can compost it. If you are unsure, please check with the brand that you bought the item from!
For example, although the majority of bamboo toothbrush handles are natural, toothbrush bristles are mostly composed of inorganic matter. In order to prepare it for compost, clip the bristles using scissors and snap the toothbrush into smaller pieces. Most bamboo washing-up brushes are natural, and they mostly have natural bristles too, but check for any metal components before compositing!
The same principles need to be considered when deciding whether or not to compost your bamboo items – even something which you would consider simple, like Bamboo Cutlery! Jungle Culture have a great infographic on their site which summarises this:
The Bamboo Straws we looked at earlier in the week can also be composted on the provision that the #JungleCulture check list above is fulfilled!
More information on composting in general can be found in an earlier (guest) blog post: A Quick Guide to Composting at Home.
“If you’re lucky enough to have a garden where you grow plants and flowers then composting is the most eco-friendly way to dispose of bamboo products. By composting bamboo, you are recycling it and using it to help enrich other plants. Bamboo compost is also incredibly enriching for other plants in your garden, and bamboo composting is just plain fun! Essentially, you are using an organic material to feed other plants in your garden. Could anything be more sustainable than that?”Jungle Culture
Before you compost: Look, think and check if there is anything you can upcycle the item to, e.g. a toothbrush can be used as a label in your garden, kitchen utensils could become garden utensils, etc. etc. Maybe make a note of the list, and stick it near your bins, so you can double check items when sorting your rubbish for recycling / compost / household waste.