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Stiffness, Firmness, Distance to Burst

Compostable Food Scrap Collection Bags

Composting organic food waste is an increasingly common practice in individual households and in communities with composting programs. Food and other organic waste typically needs to be stored for short periods of time before being transported to larger remote bins or directly into compost piles. Compostable bags are designed to contain odors, allow evaporation to minimize mold growth, and cleanly hold the organic waste inside these containers for at least a week. The strength of the bags and delaying bag degradation until they enter the compost stream are critically important. This study examines how a starch based compostable bag responds to a penetrating force under different lengths of wet storage conditions, akin to a bone or flower stem stressing the bag from the inside. If the bags degrade too quickly they might weaken and fall apart while the bags are transported to a large outside receptacle or to the compost itself.