Is banana peel biodegradable or nonbiodegradable? | The Simple Answer

Banana peel is biodegradable and will break down into your compost or worm farm to feed the soil bacteria and worms. Banana peel will only take 2-3 weeks to be fully broken down in a healthy worm farm or 3-4 weeks in a compost bin. Peels will take over 4 weeks to fully break down if they are thrown on the ground.

This article will explore if banana peel is biodegradable, how to break it down quickly at home and make amazing compost or worm castings for your yard.

I get lots of banana peels each year because I drink banana smoothies everyday.

Why banana peel biodegradable

Banana peel is a natural material which means that it can biodegrade back into its elements. This includes nutrients, carbon and water which can be incorporated into soil. Soil bacteria will digest the rotting banana peels if they are placed outside on the soil, in a compost bin or in a worm farm.

I like to break down my banana peels in both my worm farm and compost. I will chop the banana peels into small pieces, mix them through my compost or worm farm gently and let the natural processes go to work.

Banana peels hold a lot of water. The first thing that you will notice is that they will go black and shrivel up. You may think they have disappeared completely but they are probably just black and disguised amongst the worm castings and compost.

Are all fruit peels biodegradable?

All fruit peels are biodegradable in their natural form. They will be broken down over time if they are added to garden soil, compost or a worm farm The fastest way to break down fruit peel is in a worm farm or a hot composting system. Cold composting will then break it down third fastest.

You can bury fruit peels in your soil but they will take longer to break down. You can also throw fruit peel on top of your soil and it will eventually break down too but this will be the slowest process.

What kind of waste is banana peel?

Banana peel is biodegradable waste which can be composted in a compost bin, pile or worm farm. Banana peel is considered a green material when composting because it contains nitrogen. It is important to balance out this green material with brown which adds more carbon and helps to absorb the excess water.

How to compost banana peel in a bin or compost pile

Banana peel is biodegradable so can be broken down in a compost bin or pile. The simple way to do this is to chop the banana peel into pieces with kitchen scissors first. Snip them into 1 inch strips to allow them to break down quickly.

Cut up your banana peels into pieces to help them to break down quicker in a compost bin or pile.

Sprinkle the banana peel pieces over the top of your compost pile or bin and then mix them through with a garden fork. This will help the peels to break down as quick as possible. Banana peels will break down quickly when they are small. Start with 2-3 banana peels and add more once they have broken down.

Banana peels can add lots of water so add some extra brown material like straw, fall leaves or sugar cane mulch.

For more on how to compost banana peels, check out my article here: How to Compost Banana Peels

How to compost banana peels in a worm farm

You can add your banana peels to your worm farm simply and easily by first cutting the banana peels into small pieces. Snip them up and this will make it easier for the worms to eat the peels. Add the peels to the top of the worm farm and cover the peels with some straw. This will help to keep ants and flies out.

The sweetness of the banana skin can sometimes attract ants even with a thin covering of brown material. To help to keep them out, cover the worm castings with a worm blanket and lid. If you have bought a worm tower or worm bin then they should come with well-fitting lids.

If you have made your worm farm at home then look out for a Styrofoam lid that fits or a piece of timber to cover the bin. Make sure there are plenty of air holes to allow the worm farm and the worms to breathe.

Here are worms in my worm farm eating food scraps including banana peels.

For more on how to feed worms banana peel, check out my article: How to put banana peels in a worm farm | Easy tips to avoid flies

Should you throw banana peels on the ground?

If you are out hiking or out in your backyard it might seem like a good idea to throw your banana peel on the ground. Banana peels are biodegradable but it will take at least 4 weeks to fully break down if they are on the ground. It will take longer for soil bacteria to break it down and worms are less likely to dig their way up to eat the peel.  

This means that if everyone threw their banana peels on the ground while hiking, our national parks would be full of them. Millions of people are hiking along our popular trails each year which could mean millions of banana peels.

Instead of throwing them on the ground put then back in your bag and take them home to compost. Keep a small worm farm and your worms will love them.

Is banana peel biodegradable or nonbiodegradable? | Summary

Banana peel is biodegradable and will break down quickly in an active worm farm or compost pile. Banana peel will take longer to break down if they are thrown on the ground or just dug into ground soil. Make sure you take your banana peel home with you when hiking or put it in an appropriate bin on the way.

Banana peels are great food for worms and the worm farm itself is a great learning experience for adults and kids. Start small and make a worm farm at home.

For more on how to make a worm farm at home, check out my article here: How to make a Styrofoam worm farm.

Happy composting.