Is Parchment Paper Biodegradable and Compostable?

Is Parchment Paper Biodegradable?

If you are considering the recycling of parchment paper, you may inquire about its biodegradability and compostability. These factors hold significant importance in the context of recycling. In this informative post, I will provide you with comprehensive answers to these queries.

Parchment paper, a well-known variety of baking paper, serves as a greaseproof silicon-coated paper extensively employed in culinary endeavors. Its inherent qualities include heat resistance and a non-stick surface, rendering it ideal for baking purposes. In the following discussion, we shall examine the compostability of parchment paper and assess its eco-friendliness

Is Parchment Paper Biodegradable?

Yes, it is biodegradable but not all parchment papers are biodegradable. The bleached parchment paper may be biodegradable but it has some health issues. The unbleached parchment paper is 100% biodegradable.

There are 2 types of baking paper, both unbleached (brown) and bleached (white). As you would expect, the bleached baking paper has been treated with chlorine, but unbleached parchment paper has not.

Why this is a problem? Because when chlorine-bleached parchment paper is warmed, there is a problem that it may leak a chemical known as dioxin.

Related: Check out these Chlorin-free unbleached eco-friendly parchment papers.

Dioxins, have been attached to reproductive and development issues, damage the defense system, interfere with hormones and also cancer.

Is parchment paper compostable?

parchment paper roll

Based on my research, I found the answer to this question is not clear. I didn’t find anything that strongly recommends composting parchment paper in a compost pile. But there are some sources of the products that say you can compost it.

Is parchment paper compostable?

According to information from Montana State University Extension, wax paper will not decompose efficiently and you may find pieces of it left in the compostable pile. And the same university’s Home and Garden Information Center stated they would not recommend composting parchment paper. And you may know it is coated with non-stick materials like silicon. That makes it unable to compost. Though some companies submitted that their parchment paper is compostable. Let’s find it out.

From other sources, you can compost parchment paper but you need to do some extra work. Though you know, it is not coated with wax and it will compost faster than the wax paper.

But you need to cut it into small pieces to make the composting process more quickly. You can leave it as a large piece but you should know, it may biodegrade much more slowly than everything else you compost.

There are some companies like Raynolds and If You Care that submitted their parchment paper is compostable. You can find them on the internet easily. Their parchment paper is FSC Certified and compostable, Unbleached, and chlorine-free. Raynold‘s parchment paper is compostable in commercial composting facilities. If You Can‘s parchment paper is certified compostable and can be home composted.

Related: Check out IF YOU CARE’s FSC Certified compostable parchment paper.



CompostableYes(commercial composting facilities)Yes
Material75% unbleached fiberSilicon
Chlorine FreeYesYes
UnbleachedYes (75%)Yes

You can try them both and see which one is more suitable for you. I found them on Amazon and it is slightly low priced. I will link them both below, you can check out and pick the best one for you.

If you want to buy compostable and biodegradable parchment paper, check out this post on best parchment paper. Where different types of parchment paper are listed, choose the one that is best for you.

Is it safe?

Unfortunately parchment paper, regardless of whether or not it is unbleached or bleached, is treated with a silicone coating to make it non-stick as well as warm resistant and moisture.

There are both low-quality and high-quality silicone on market. You should look for higher quality silicone, like medical grade or at least food grade. This silicone is less likely to have chemicals or toxins that may leach out of it.

But there is some worry, that high temperature may cause leaching of not just silicone but the additives and fillers used to generate other products such as silicone molds. Mainly making it is a way into our food.

What should you use the type of parchment paper you use truly comes down to personal preference.

If you are like me and like to decrease the amount of chemicals you exposed to on a daily basis. Greasing your trays and applying the old unbleached baking paper where needed might just be the way to go.

You should use unbleached paper. I found Beyond Gourmet Unbleached Non-Stick Parchment Paper. Which is also compostable so if you can pop it into your compost bin without any problems.

It is 100% renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. It is non-stick so, foods won’t stick to it. No greasing or oil needed for healthy cooking. It is safe for use in the freezer and oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you don’t have it in your kitchen you can use parchment paper substitute or if you want to use wax paper you can check this article parchment paper vs wax paper.

Also Read:

I write this post based on research. If you found any errors or have some suggestions please write it in the comment section.

4 thoughts on “Is Parchment Paper Biodegradable and Compostable?”

  1. Hi there, where can I further research that silicone is biodegradable? 🙂 All this time I thought silicone is not biodegradable and this is the first article I bumped in that says it is biodegradable, so I’d like to further my research. 🙂

    Thank you!

    1. I feel all right now tossing parchment paper in my compost bin; hopefully the study I quote below is worthy of my trust. It says that even “glassine” paper (used as backing paper for stickers) is compostable, and it seems to me the silicone content for glassine paper must be ≥ that of parchment paper.

      “(Sweden, January 18, 2017) Munksjö and a leading suppliers of release papers for the Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) industry, has announced today the completion of an earlier laboratory study, revealing that the typical carrier of PSA labels — silicone coated glassine paper — meets compostability, in addition to biodegradability requirements.”

  2. It maybe compostable and biodegradable, but it is not recyclable due to the silicone which would ruin the recycling stream.

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