These deli pots are made from PLA plastic. This looks and acts just like plastic but is made from corn starch rather than oil. Not only is this a renewable resource, it is also compostable
I have bought two size of pots ( with lids), specifically made to serve food portions, which I take to the shops with me and use instead of the plastic pots provided.
I use them for
and anything else that takes my fancy.
I use them in supermarkets, farmers markets and anywhere that sells loose.
The 350 ml (Big enough to hold a jar of Tesco olives)
The 500 ml (Big enough for a jar of beetroot)
Please note – the lids fit securely but are not completely waterproof – you might need to put the pots in a cornstarch bag for additional security.
The pots are really sturdy and don’t as you might imagine start biodegrading the minute you use them. For instance, I use them keep my home-made cosmetic cream in – months later there is still no sign of disintegration.
You can wash them but they do melt in hot water so cannot be washed at temperatures hot enough to sterilise. For this reason I would recommend that you take a new pot with you every time you go shopping.However that need not stop you reusing them around the house. I recycle them as freezer pots , use them for sprouting seeds, growing cress and other garden based activities of which more later.
Find out more about PLA here
You can buy pots at various places on-line, they have started appearing on Ebay and there are some very good deals on Amazon
I bought mine from WF Dennys – very cheap but minimum purchase 100.
Vegware do a great range of shapes and sizes and will sell smaller amounts.
What is compostable? To be classed compostable, items must biodegrade within a certain time (around the rate at which paper biodegrades), and the resulting biomass must be free of toxins, able to sustain plant life and be used as an organic fertilizer or soil additive. For a man-made product to be sold as compostable, it has to meet certain standards. One such is the European Norm EN13432. You can find out more here.
Composting PLA Plastic At Home
While most agree that PLA plastic is indeed compostable, many say that it can only composted in large scale municipal schemes. As we don’t have many large scale municipal schemes this they say is a pointless advantage.I say the days of large scale municipal schemes is fast approaching as governments aim to divert biodegradable rubbish from landfill sites.
AND I have been composting my PLA plastic for years. We have used and composted a number PLA plastic products (including Biobags , Deli pots and disposable Cutlery)
It does take longer than other products and sometimes I have found shreds of it in my compost but I dig it into the soil where it quickly disappears.
Read more about compostable plastics here
And never forget that bio-degradable plastic bags do not biodegrade where as compostable plastic bags do compost. Not all bio-plastics (plant derived plastics) are compostable. Read more here.