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Is Wax Paper Compostable?

The answer to this question is "Maybe yes, maybe no".

Did You Know? The practice of oiling paper to make it waterproof dates back to the Middle Ages. In the 19th Century, Beeswax was used to coat the paper.

If you are like me, you are seeking to compost any materials that are organic and biodegradable.

To determine if wax paper is compostable, you have to know what wax is used to coat the paper. You also need to know what other chemicals, if any, are a component of wax paper.

The paper in wax paper is a compostable material.

The wax is either soybean based, or one of two kinds of paraffin.

Soybean wax is organic, but it is a wax, and is difficult for microbes to digest.

Paraffin is composed of either vegetable oil or petroleum based.

Vegetable oil is organic and is okay for composting. Again, it is hard for the microbes to digest wax.

Petroleum based paraffin is definitely not desirable in the compost, nor ultimately in your garden.

In addition, some wax paper manufacturers use chlorine or bleach in the paper making process.

Our Conclusion: Rather than doing extensive research into the composition of the wax paper you buy, avoid using wax paper in your compost.


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