Candle refills, Candle wax

How to Prep Wax-Coated Compostable Pouches for Composting!

Compost bin will vegetables spewing out and purscents candle refill pouch next to it

In our journey towards more sustainable living practices, every small action counts, especially when it comes to managing waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

At Purscents, we think about the importance of sustainability from production to disposal. Our compostable pouches, designed to minimise environmental impact, can still pose a challenge when they contain wax residue, making the composting process slightly more complex. However, fear not, for with a bit of know-how and the right techniques, you can efficiently clean these pouches, ensuring they contribute positively to your compost without harm.

Understanding the Challenge
We believe that our compostable pouches represent a significant step towards encouraging the reuse of empty jars and reducing plastic waste. Made from FSC-certified kraft paper and lined with biopolymers, these materials are designed to compost in both industrial and home settings under the right conditions. However, the vegetable wax and 100% essential oils used in our candles, though natural and biodegradable themselves, do not break down as readily as the pouch material. This disparity in decomposition rates can lead to an incomplete composting process, potentially introducing contaminants into the mix.

The Solution is in Preparation
Fear not, for the solution is both straightforward and sustainable. The key is to remove the residual wax before adding the pouches to your compost. Here’s how:

Freeze the Pouch: Place the compostable pouch with residual wax in your freezer for a few hours. Cold temperatures will harden the wax, making it easier to remove. This method avoids the use of chemicals or heat that could potentially harm the compostability of the pouch

Scrape Off the Wax: Once the wax is hard and brittle, cut the pouch open and gently scrape off the residual wax with a blunt instrument like a butter knife or a spoon. Most of the wax should come off easily if it is fully hardened.

Use a Warm Cloth: If any residue remains after scraping, lightly dampen a cloth with warm (not hot) water and gently rub the areas with residue. The warmth will soften the remaining wax without saturating the pouch with water, which could compromise its structure before composting.

Air Dry Completely: Make sure the pouch is completely dry before adding it to your compost. Any moisture could encourage mould growth that could be detrimental to your compost pile.

Cut into Smaller Pieces: Before composting, cut the cleaned pouch into smaller pieces. This increases the surface area, helping it to break down more efficiently in the compost pile.

Compost Correctly: Add the pouch pieces to your compost pile, ensuring it’s well mixed with other compost materials. A healthy compost pile should have a balance of ‘greens’ (nitrogen-rich materials) and ‘browns’ (carbon-rich materials), and the compostable pouch would count as a ‘brown.’

Monitor Your Compost: Keep an eye on your compost pile to ensure it’s decomposing properly. The compostable pouches should break down within a few weeks to months, depending on the composting conditions.

Why This Matters
By taking these steps to clean the wax from compostable pouches before composting, you are not only ensuring the integrity of your compost but also contributing to a larger environmental ethos. It demonstrates a commitment to sustainability that goes beyond mere convenience, reflecting a dedication to thoughtful consumption and waste management.

Furthermore, engaging in such practices helps promote the development of more eco-friendly products. By showing that consumers are willing to put in extra effort to ensure their waste is properly processed, we encourage companies to continue innovating in the realm of sustainable packaging.

In Conclusion
Cleaning residual wax from compostable pouches before adding them to your compost is a simple yet impactful way to support our planet. It embodies the principle that sustainability requires attention to detail and a willingness to adapt our behaviours for the greater good. Let us all commit to these small acts of environmental stewardship, for it is through them that we make a significant difference.

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