¿Se puede compostar la ropa fabricada con materiales naturales?

Can clothing made from natural materials be composted?

Know the production cycle of the material

Treatments, dyes, coatings, membranes and trims applied during material transformation may impede biodegradability.

They may contain components that alter the initial capacity of the raw material to biodegrade and hide ecotoxic traces in the environment once the material has disintegrated.

Biodegradability and compostability have to be guaranteed for the finished product, and not used to boast about the qualities of the raw fiber.

Checking the conditions and certification of the finished product

Several parameters come into play to allow the transformation of the material.

  • The environment (oxygen, pH, temperature, humidity, microorganisms that activate the process...)

  • The structure and properties of the material

  • The degree of decomposition and the time required

  • Non-toxicity and the absence of heavy metals

The standards regulate the test methodologies and the thresholds necessary to qualify a product as compostable. Compostability is studied under domestic and industrial composting conditions. Industrial facilities offer the ideal conditions to optimize the transformation process by maintaining the necessary temperature, humidity, pH and mixing. However, for the moment, these facilities have not been developed on a large scale.

Home compost has the advantage of being more widespread, but it is not so easy to create the necessary conditions to produce quality compost: the accumulation of organic waste is not enough on its own. Compost has to contain a balance of various elements, and for this very reason it should not be full of tissue at the end of its life cycle if it is to be successful.

The compostability of fabrics should be an attribute at the end of its useful life, used in its proper measure, and not the solution for a new product ready to buy and throw away.


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