Before I start to answer questions I would like to talk about wax paper first. As the name suggests, wax paper or well known as the waxed paper is a paper that is coated with wax on both sides(mostly). The wax used on paper could

Is Wax Paper Compostable and Biodegradable

vary from vegetable oil or petroleum-based paraffin. Paper wax is useful for kitchen applicants, among other things it is used for food wrapping because of its moisture resistance that can prevent food from being soggy. Apart from that, wax paper also beneficial for some baking purposes without any heating procedure.

In addition, not only functional for kitchen applicant but waxed paper also functional for many other things like line drawers to prevent the dirt, fast funnel, dusting the dust off, unstuck the zipper, cleaner for a can opener, microwave protector and so on. After a brief explanation about wax paper above, I want to address some questions that are commonly asked by the readers. Hence, here is some frequently asked question in regard to wax paper: 

Is wax paper compostable?

The first typical questions that I often get is whether or not wax paper is compostable. Before I answer the question, we really need to understand the kind of materials that are used for coating of the paper. Generally, waxed paper is either coated with soybean-based or paraffin-based. Actually, the paper that uses soybean oil-based waxed paper is compostable. 

The first typical questions that I often get is whether or not wax paper is compostable. Before I answer the question, we really need to understand the kind of materials that are used for coating of the paper. Generally, waxed paper is either coated with soybean-based or paraffin-based. Actually, the paper that uses soybean oil-based waxed paper is compostable. 

Soybean is considered as organic wax, but as organic as it is, it still is a wax. Therefore, the microbes will find difficulties in digesting it. Meanwhile, wax paper that is coated with paraffin-based usually either use vegetable oil or petroleum. Vegetable oil is organic, then again the microbes will difficult in digesting it. While petroleum-based paraffin is inorganic and most absolutely not fascinating for composting, nor in your garden. Moreover, many producers also produce waxed papers that are added with chlorine and bleach during the waxed paper process. 

In conclusion, basically to determine whether or not wax paper is compostable will depend on its material that is used to coat the paper. When it is using soybean wax or vegetable oil, then yes, it is okay to composite. Even though it is hard for microbes to digest it. Meanwhile, when it is coated with petroleum-based paraffin it is absolutely not compostable. Therefore, if you want to compost wax paper then use the paper which is coated with organic wax.

Is waxed paper biodegradable?

The next regularly asked question is whether or not wax paper is biodegradable. Waxed paper not only functional, but it also offers some environmental benefits in which make it interesting and forthcoming reason especially for eco-friendly wrapping alternatives. 

Moreover, some of the waxed paper is naturally and biologically biodegradable of a substantial batch. Furthermore, both of organic wax ( soybean oil or vegetable oil-based) and paper could be decomposed around 2 weeks till 1 month period of time, or you could say it could decay around the similar pace with leaves in the wilderness. Most importantly, there is fairly recent research that is done by EuroWaxPack that highlights a broad spectrum of wax paper substantial batch is technically compostable. 

In addition, the waxed paper that is indicated in the research is including the greater part of wax paper applications such as baking paper, food wrapper, coffee cup and so on. The waxed paper substantial achieves the 90% proportionate of biodegradability conditions of EN 12432. 

Furthermore, the French Organization of Micropap in 2012 has received OK compost license of Vincotte. It gets the license for its meat and cheese wrappers material that is coated with soybean oil-based wax which is organic. Thus, it can be concluded that, yes, the majority of the waxed papers are biodegradable. 

Can you compost wax paper? 

The next most periodically asked question is regarding whether or not you can compost wax paper. Well, to answer that we need to know the material that is used to coat the paper for sure. After that, then we can determine whether or not it can be decomposed. 

For the waxed paper that is used soybean wax as its coating, of course, you can compost it because it is organic. Even though it is decomposable, it will hard for microbes to digest it. Same goes with waxed paper that is coated with vegetable oil, this waxed paper is also decomposable. Then again, the microbes will find it difficult to digest it. Meanwhile, when the waxed paper is coated with petroleum-based paraffin, you can’t compost it because it is inorganic and decomposable. 

However, if you are in doubt whether or not you can compost your waxed paper, how about you try to lessen the usage of this particular paper. For example, you could start to throw away your waxed paper and in return change it instead with cellulose bag which is could absolutely decompose around 1 month to 3 months. This kind of paper bag is biodegradable because it is organic and not made from petroleum. 

Another way that you could do to lessen the use of waxed paper is by reusing them. Thus, instead of keep buying the new one, you should just reuse your old waxed paper. Specifically, when you just use them for baking some sugar cookies or making fluffy and fudgy treats. You just need to clean off the leftover sugar or flour on your waxed paper with a wet tissue, damp cloth or even paper towel. Then, you could reuse it whenever you want.  

Another piece of advice for you is that, if you are really into decomposing your wastes, you need to make sure the types of your waste, so you don’t have to ruin your batch of composting materials just because you misunderstood the nature of your waste. Therefore, when your waste is waxed paper and you cannot really tell, whether it is made of soybean oil-based or petroleum-based, you should definitely throw it away to your trash can and do not ever throw it to your compostable waste bin, because I’m pretty sure you don’t want to damage your batch of compost.  

How long does it take for wax paper to biodegrade?

Another most frequently asked question is how long does it take for wax paper to biodegrade. I think to answer this question I need to know what kind of coating that is being used on your waxed paper. Presumably, when you are using waxed paper that is coated with organic wax such as soybean-based wax and vegetable oil wax, it will need approximately two to six weeks in the landfill to be fully decomposed. 

Meanwhile, when you are using petroleum-based paraffin as the coat of your waxed paper, it surely will need a lot of time for it to be fully biodegradable considering the fact that it is inorganic and cannot be decomposed, recycled or even biodegrade. I think it will need a thousand years to completely biodegrade.  

All in all, when talking about waxed paper there are always be so many questions regarding them. The questions vary. They are including whether or not wax paper is compostable, whether or not wax paper is biodegradable, how to compost waxed paper, how long does it take for wax paper to biodegrade and et cetera. Moreover, to determine whether or not waxed paper is compostable or biodegradable it will very much depend on the material that is used for its coating. 

Also read: Is Wax Paper Recyclable?

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