Research from Friends of the Earth, an environmental charity, shows that five authoritiesfor dealing with waste in London (representing 25 boroughs) do not accept compostable packaging.
Three of the five waste authoritiessurveyed advised people to throw compostable items into the rubbish, rather than put them into the compost.
Emma Priestland, plastics campaigner at Friends of the Earth, explained: "According to advice [from the waste services] you would have to put compostable products in a normal bin.
"In an ideal situation, it would be placed with food waste," which is allowed to decompose in compostable bin bags.
However, the survey carried out shows waste authorities will not allow compostable plastic products such as coffee cups to remain with this waste, and will instead throw it into landfill.
In email correspondence seen by the Standard, West London Waste Authority confirmed: "Due to problems with identification and to avoid significant contamination, our advice is to compost suitable products through a home composting system or to dispose them into the residual bin."
North London Waste Authority echoed this response and said it did not accept compostable products amongst food waste because "it is difficult for us to identify them from contaminating non-compostable plastics."
South London Waste Partnership, Western Riverside Waste Authority and East London Waste Authority also confirmed compostable products were not left with food waste to avoid a risk of "contamination" of the compost.
Many of the authorities claimed a lack of communication from manufacturers of compostable products meant it was difficult to sort them correctly.
They explained that all compostable products must meet a safety regulation to ensure they can remain with food waste. Whereas food bin bags comply with this standard, waste services appear to be in the dark about whether or not other products are safe to compost.
A spokesman for the South London Waste Partnership said: "Retailers and manufacturers who introduce these new products and material may well have good intentions. But they're currently operating in a bubble.
"They really must start working more closely with the people who collect and treat household waste, to ensure the collection services and treatment infrastructure exist to cope with this new type of material and to handle it correctly.
"Otherwise, the widespread introduction of compostable plastics will only add complexity to a recycling system that many people already find confusing."
Ms Priestland said: "Alternatives to throwaway plastic cups, cutlery and food containers are urgently needed - but compostable products and packaging are not the simple solution that many people think."
She echoed the calls for manufacturers to work more closely with waste authorities, and suggested they should be forced to pay more towards the cost of "dealing with the waste they create."
Sandwich chain EAT. has said its research has suggested recyclable coffee cups, rather than compostable, will be preferable in future.
A spokesman confirmed:"At EAT. we are committed to sustainability and are always looking for ways to reduce our environmental footprint. Having assessed all the options and conducted trials we have concluded that recyclable cups are currently the best option.
"We have also been encouraged by the increasing number of customers bringing in their own re-usable cups, and we expect this trend to continue."
AMT Coffee, which has also started usingcompostable coffee cups, insisted the products can still break down in landfill.
A spokeswoman for the coffee chain said: "Our new bio-compostable cups are the best green option available at the moment in the market.
"Our cups will still breakdown completely even if it ends up in landfill, which we do not have control of with the current waste system in the UK, unlike the regular plastic lined coffee cups used by our competitors. We encourage our customers to dispose of their waste responsibly.
"We are always on the look out to improve our environmental impact and at the moment this is the best option available. If this changes and technology advances we will of course review our offering."
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