Organic retailer Abel & Cole abandoning compostable plastics for more sustainable paper bags


Organic food delivery company Abel & Cole has said it will stop using compostable plastics after seeing evidence that they do not break down as promised.

Instead, it intends to use recyclable paper bags and investigate other packaging options including expanding its existing reusable packaging model.


It has already removed compostable plastics in its core Fruit & Veg boxes, and is working with its suppliers to remove them from their range by the end of 2023.

In a blog on its website, Abel & Cole said: “Until recently there was something not very ‘us’ hiding in our Fruit & Veg boxes. Like you, we thought compostable plastics ended up as well, you know, compost.

“But there’s a growing body of evidence which suggests that’s not always the case.

“It turns out that compostable plastic only breaks down under certain conditions. And unless your local waste contractor has exactly the right kit, compostable plastic behaves a lot like regular plastic.”

Abel & Cole also listed the research from University College London and others on the blog that it had used to come to this decision.