Is Coconut Shell Biodegradable?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: May 7, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

That drink of fresh coconut water was delicious, but now you’re not sure what to do next. 

Is coconut shell biodegradable? – you can find the answer to this question and more coming up next. 

Coconut shells are biodegradable and compostable. The shells are made of fiber and pitch, but because they are a little tough, they take months or up to a year to break down.

Are you ready to find out more about coconut shells and what you can do to dispose of the one you have at home? Then make sure you check out the rest of this guide. 

It will provide you with all the disposal tips and tricks you need.

How Long Does It Take for a Coconut Shell to Decompose?

So you have just finished making a curry with all-natural coconut mixed in. It was creamier and tastier than you could have possibly imagined it would be. 

But now you’re stuck with the shell. What can you do with it?

One thing you can do with your coconut shell is to throw it onto your compost heap. But before you do, it’s good to remember that a coconut shell will take months or even a year to decompose. 

That’s right, your shell will be on your compost heap for a good while before it begins to break down. 

So, if you’re already fed up with looking at it, make sure you push it towards the back of the heap.

Why does it take so long? Well, a coconut shell falls into the category of what we call hard organic matter. 

Because it is so tough, it takes longer for it to break down. It’s super tough because it’s made of some pretty rock-solid materials. But we will get on to that a little later.

What if you cannot wait months for your coconut shells to decompose? Then you can always convert them into biochar

That means sticking the shells into a brick oven and allowing them to burn. Once the shells have softened and broken down you can put them on your compost. 

This should help the shells to decompose within just a few months.

Is Coconut Husk Biodegradable?

There’s nothing more authentic than enjoying a sip of coconut water from a coconut. And if you have had that experience recently, we must say, we really envy you. 

But now the drink is over and you are left with the coconut husk. What should you do with it? Is simply tossing it bad for the environment?

You will be glad to know that coconut husk is biodegradable. You can place the husk, along with the shell and its flesh onto your compost heap. 

But you should be aware that a coconut could take months or up to a year to decompose. 

How long it takes depends on the size of the coconut, the thickness of the husk, and the type of environment it’s in.

But why on earth does it all have to take this long? Well, apart from the size and thickness of the shell, it all comes down to the makeup of the husk itself. 

Coconut husks are made of 30% fiber and 70% pith. But what helps them to be so durable is their high lignin content. 

This polymer makes the husks rigid and woody and more resistant to rotting.

Coconut husk is biodegradable, so you can also recycle it together with your fruits and vegetables. 

Simply place it into your normal organic waste recycling bin and then leave it for curbside collection.

How Do You Dispose of Coconut Shells?

There are tonnes of innovative videos and photos of people making things out of coconut shells on the internet. We’ve seen it all, people are hollowing them out and making planters. 

We’ve seen them turned into ornaments and candle holders. Oh, and people are even making a business out of coconuts, cutting the husks down and making them into *earrings. 

But some of us just don’t have time for all that. Or perhaps we do, but anyway, our time would be better spent doing something else. 

So, what should you do if you simply want to get rid of your coconut shell and be done with it? Here are the best ways for you to dispose of yours:

  • Place it on your compost heap. Bear in mind that a coconut shell will take months or up to a year to decompose completely.
  • Convert it into biochar and then place it on your compost heap. Burn the shells in a brick oven until they are soft and in small pieces. You can then place the biochar on your compost heap and it will break down within a few months.
  • Put it into your organic or yard waste bin. You can put your coconut shell into your fruit and veg or yard waste bin. You can then leave it for ordinary curbside collection. It’s as simple as that, there’s no need to wash it nor to label the bag. Just chuck the shell into your recycling and never look back.

*Do you feel tempted by some of these crafty coconut ideas? If you’ve had a change of heart about binning your shell don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone. You can find awesome ways to upcycle your coconut shell right here

Final Thoughts

There is nothing more refreshing than coconut water on a hot day. 

Or what about a scoop of fresh coconut to add a tropical twist to your cooking? Whatever the case, having fresh coconut at home helps you bring a taste of the tropics to your dining room table. 

But is coconut shell biodegradable? I am sure this article has helped you to see that coconut shells are great for the environment. 

Although it has a tough exterior, it is biodegradable and will break down on your compost heap in about a year. 

Alternatively, you can put it into your organic or yard waste bin or even upcycle it.

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