Do you know the difference between ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’? You hear it all the time in the environmentally friendly space, so they are quite common terms! Some products or product packaging’s boast that they are made from “biodegradable” and “compostable” materials, but there’s plenty of confusion around their meanings. Let’s differentiate them!
What does it mean for something to be “biodegradable”?
If an item is biodegradable, given the right conditions and presence of microorganisms, fungi or bacteria, the item will break down to its basic components and return to nature. This process typically takes one year or less. The ability for items to biodegrade within landfills helps reduce waste which ultimately contributes to a safer and cleaner environment.
Biotuff’s Biodegradable Bin Liners are made from natural plant-based cornstarch. If you’re looking for a more sustainable alternative to plastic bin liners, these are it! These Bin Liners are biodegradable and certified compostable to meet Australian, European and American standards*, GMO free, free from petroleum additives and have a 0-90 day decomposition.
*AS4736, AS5810 Home compost, ISO16929, ISO14855, Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).
Another example of a biodegradable product is corn-PLA floss. These dental flosses look and feel like plastic, but they certainly aren’t plastic. In fact, they’re 100% biodegradable! So, how should you dispose of your biodegradable items? Look into your council and see if they have biowaste collection points. This way, your biodegradable items will be able to make their way to industrial composting plants where they will break down under special conditions (e.g. temperature, time, humidity).
What does it mean for something to be “compostable”?
If an item is compostable, this means that the item is intended to return to nature safely – just like biodegradable materials. However, compostable materials go one step further by providing the Earth with valuable nutrients once completely broken down, which aids the growth of plants and trees. You might be familiar with this process (i.e. composting)! Composting works because millions of tiny microbes consume the waste and transform the organic material into comport.
Organic Cotton-Based Products
Natural textiles made from 100% natural fibers can be put into your compost bin to biodegrade. Do you have clothes or bags made from organic cotton? This is how you compost organic cotton:
- Cut the item into smaller pieces to increase the surface area – they’ll break down faster!
- Remove anything that won’t biodegrade (e.g. tags, buttons)
- Add worms to your compost
Additionally, next time you go shopping, choose better! We have a range of sustainable alternatives made from organic cotton. Swap your plastic shopping bags to our Organic Cotton Tote Bag, plastic produce bags to our Organic Cotton Produce Bags, disposable cotton rounds to our Reusable Facial Pads, and plastic cotton buds to our compostable Bamboo Cotton Buds!
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Bamboo Drinking Straws are a great alternative to plastic draws as they have a low carbon footprint and are home compostable when they’ve reached the end of their useful life. When your Bamboo Straw is looking tired or worn out, add it to your compost bin or bury it in the garden so it can degrade naturally and return to the Earth.
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