Bake in it, serve in it, then bury it in the yard: Biodegradable, compostable bakeware

by Terry B on January 11, 2012

Biosphere Industries and its biodegradable, compostable bakeware and serveware made from tapioca are the subject of my latest post on the USA Character Approved Blog.

For having such a tiny garden plot, we compost a lot. (And by we, I mean Marion, of course, the same we who does our gardening.) So when we started seeing compostable “plastic” drinking cups made from corn in some of our favorite takeout places, we got excited. Until we read the fine print. Turns out they take up to 180 days to compost in commercial composting facilities; try composting them in a home system, and they can take a year or more.

Not so with the bakeware, plates and other serving pieces from Biosphere Industries. Introduced last summer, their tapioca-based pie pans, muffin trays and other containers compost in just 10 days in commercial facilities. And they biodegrade without any composting help in 40 days or less. So they’ll break down fairly quickly when composted at home.

Biosphere bakeware and serveware is also certified salt-water biodegradable. This is no small matter when you consider the soupy island of floating plastic garbage in the Pacific Ocean. Even the most conservative estimate puts its size at some 270,000 square miles. Some say it’s twice the size of the continental United States.

As we all try to reduce our impact on the planet, Biosphere is turning tapioca into one smart way to do it. For more on this novel approach to disposable bakeware—including where to find it—check out my latest post on the USA Character Approved Blog.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I love this. Now they need to jump from bakeware to other things we use all the time that might end up in a landfill .. or the ocean.

leah January 12, 2012 at 3:07 am

i get it…. but i’m confused, why would you want to throw away bake ware?

Patricia January 12, 2012 at 3:44 am

Several centuries hence they will dig around looking for shards to tell them how we lived in the 21st century and they will find…. nothing. They won’t know we have ever been here or if they do, they won’t know anything about us.

Terry B January 12, 2012 at 4:08 am

Michelle, one thing Biosphere is working on is edible dog food packaging. I’m guessing if you’re traveling with your pet, you could just put it down and the dog could consume everything.

Besides bakeware, Leah, they also make plates and trays for picnics, where you wouldn’t want to take china plates. Their products are also used by school systems. Most schools have done away with full-service kitchens, so real plates would be a problem there as well. Regarding disposable bakeware, if you’re taking a baked gift to a friend or an edible contribution to a party, you don’t always want to risk not getting your pie pan back.

We should be so lucky, Patricia! There will be mounds of plastic remains that will paint an all too accurate picture of our culture. On a similar note, one of my college professors once suggested that millennia from now, when countless McDonald’s restaurants are unearthed around the world, it will be assumed that St. Louis (home of the Gateway Arch) was the center of our civilization.

michele January 21, 2012 at 2:29 am

It is great that using disposal bakeware is at least useful and they do less harm to the environment.

Toney Warren April 25, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I just purchased the Biosphere 4 inch tart pan. It is very shallow and I don’t think I can use it. Are the any other choices in the 4 to 6 inch dimension. I am not interested in a full size pie pan.

Toney Warren

Terry B April 25, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Toney—I looked at the Biosphere website and I’m afraid they make only the one. Probably your best bet, unless you need to be able to dispose of the tart pan, is to shop for metal or ceramic pans. Good luck!

Sandy November 10, 2014 at 9:13 am

Where can you buy these?

Terry B November 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Sandy, I tried tracking them down, but even the company website only says, “Return soon to check for new items and selected retail store locations.” A shame, because it’s such a great idea.

Tracy Murray January 26, 2016 at 11:46 am

I’m looking for bake ware for pot pies. I need to bake, then sell in same containers with lid. 6′, 8′, and 9′. Do u sell these containers

Terry B February 4, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Tracy, unfortunately we don’t. But if you Google disposable bakeware, you’ll find lots of options. Good luck!

Donna M October 14, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Where can i purchase your pie pan, muffins tins and bread pans? I don’t see anything on your site as to where to purchase these

Terry B October 24, 2017 at 9:37 pm

Donna, we don’t sell cookware—or anything—on Blue Kitchen. But as I told Tracy, if you Google disposable bakeware, you’ll find lots of options. Good luck!

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