What is the Difference Between Compostable and Biodegradable?
Some customers will ask, “Do you have biodegradable bags? And then also say I need degradable bags that are good for the environment. But our bags are biodegradable bags. Then I will come to you to talk about this compostable and biodegradable.
What is compostable?
Compostable means that the product will break down into its natural elements, but only in a composting environment. Compostable materials are usually made from plants and other organic materials such as corn starch, bagasse or PLA plastic. Compostable products have two additional benefits over biodegradable products: they break down much faster, many in about 90 days; they also break down into nutrient-rich products (water and carbon dioxide) that provide the earth with healthy soil.
What does biodegradable mean?
Degradable products are primarily oil-based products that break down through chemical reactions, rather than through organic breakdown by microorganisms. Unlike biodegradable products, degradable plastic products decompose in anaerobic environments such as landfills. In addition, degradable products do not completely break down and become organic materials. Instead, they break down into tiny pieces that can still affect the environment.
For example, some plastics may degrade and become small pieces that are ingested by animals, thus causing significant problems in the food chain. In addition, the time required for product degradation is usually much longer than that required to break down biodegradable or compostable items.
This means that environmentally beneficial degradable bags are biodegradable bags, which are broken down by composting environmental microorganisms.