Are Pistachio Shells Biodegradable?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: August 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Pistachios are scrummy nuts, but what should you do with the shells? Are pistachio shells biodegradable?

Pistachio shells are biodegradable. You can place them on your compost heap where they will take about 3 years to decompose.

Pistachio shells do biodegrade but they take an awfully long time to do so. What can you do to speed up the process? You can find the answer to this question and more coming up next in this article. 

Are Pistachios Shells Good for the Environment?

Pistachio shells are biodegradable, but they take a long time to decompose. They could be sat for up to 3 years on your compost heap before they decompose completely. 

With this in mind, many people doubt how good pistachio shells are for the environment. Are they detrimental to our planet? Let’s find out.

Pistachio shells are a natural material so they are good for the environment. Although they take a long time to decompose, they do so naturally and without harming the area around them. We cannot say the same about man made materials. 

Pistachios are used in a couple of interesting ways that help our planet. Take a look at some of them listed below. 

  • Pistachio shells can be placed at the base of plant pots to deter pests such as snails and slugs. This saves gardeners from using insecticides that harm animals and also damage the soil.
  • Pistachio shells can be ground into mulch. You can then put it on top of your flower beds to prevent weed growth. 
  • Pistachio shells can also be used to revive a fire. If you are all out of kindling, throw a handful of shells into the base of the fire to bring it back to life. 
  • Crushed pistachios are the perfect “brown” material for compost. 

Do Pistachio Nut Shells Decompose?

Pistachio nut shells are tough to break. This might make you doubt whether they can decompose or not.

But pistachio shells do decompose, they just take a long time to do so. Pistachio shells can take 3 years to biodegrade on a compost heap. 

They might take even longer to biodegrade if they’re not in the right environment. 

The long decomposition time for pistachio shells makes it really important for us to leave them in the right place. 

So, do not toss your pistachio shells aimlessly out the window thinking that they will biodegrade. 

Rather, you should put them on your compost heap. To make them decompose faster, you can crush the shells or even soak them in water overnight before composting them.

What Can I Do With Old Pistachio Shells?

Pistachio shells are a natural material so there are lots of natural ways to dispose of them. But because they are rigid and tough, they also are great to upcycle and get crafty with. 

Are you looking for some ways to get rid of or use your pistachio shells? Then take a look at the following list of ideas. 

  1. Add them to your compost heap. Start by crushing them and soaking the pieces overnight so that they decompose faster. You can pour the water and the shells onto your compost heap. They are the perfect “brown” material.
  2. Put them in your food waste recycling bin. Your local council will be happy to recycle them as natural waste.
  3. Use them as pest and weed deterrents. Put them at the base of plant pots to keep slugs and snails at bay. If you crush them and put them over the soil they will also prevent weeds from growing.
  4. Use them as kindling. They can be used to revive a dwindling fire.
  5. Make a faux succulent garden. Glue them into shapes to create a textured garden.
  6. Make jewelry. You can fashion necklaces, bracelets, and earrings out of pistachio nut shells. 
  7. Turn them into a wind chime. Hang them from a piece of string.
  8. Stick them over some cardboard to make a picture frame. Cut the cardboard into a rectangle or a square and then stick the shells around the border.

Did you like the sound of some of those upcycling ideas? Then make sure you check out some more ways to get creative using pistachio shells in this fabulous video.  

Final Thoughts

Pistachio nuts are great sources of fiber and minerals. They are awesome at keeping your blood sugar and cholesterol levels normal. 

But what should you do with the shells once you have finished eating the nuts? Are pistachio shells biodegradable?

As we have seen in this article, pistachio shells are biodegradable. Because they are quite tough, they take about 3 years or even longer to biodegrade. 

But to speed up this process, you can crush the shells and then soak them overnight before putting them on your compost heap. 

Decomposing them is great for the environment, so make sure you do so!

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