Most of us know what a compost heap is, and it’s great that we can just take organic materials for which we have no more use and allow them to decompose. Over time, this decomposed material makes an excellent fertiliser for our soil. Composting is a process whereby organic elements and plant waste are recycled and eventually reused.
All compostable items are biodegradable; however, not all biodegradable items are compostable. It’s understandable to be confused by both terms. Many environmentally friendly products are labelled as either compostable or biodegradable, and the difference is never explained, despite being the two most commonly used phrases in the recycling world.
Their differences relate to their production materials, decomposition process, and the remaining elements after decomposition. Let’s explore the meaning of the terms biodegradable and compostable and their processes below.
The composition of compostable items is always organic matter that deteriorates into natural components. They cause no harm to the environment because they decay into natural elements. Composting is a type of biodegradability that turns organic waste into a material that supplies the soil with valuable nutrients.
In the world of packaging, a compostable item is one that can be turned into compost, if it goes through the process of an industrial composting facility. Compostable products undergo degradation by a biological method to produce water, CO2, biomass, and inorganic compounds at such a rate that it leaves no visible or toxic residue.
90% of compostable products break down within 180 days, particularly in a compost environment. These products are ideal for the environment, but your business must have proper waste management, so the products must go to a compost facility.
Compostable products require suitable conditions to break down, as they don’t always biodegrade naturally – this is where industrial compost facilities come in. Compostable items can take much longer to disintegrate if in a landfill, where there is little to no oxygen.
Benefits of compostable items over biodegradable plastics
Compostable products require less energy, use less water, and create fewer greenhouse gas emissions during its production process. Compostable products are favourable to the natural environment and cause no harm to the plants and soil.
Biodegradeable products are composed of PBAT (Poly Butylene Succinate), Poly (Butylene Adipate-co-Terephthalate), PBS, PCL ( Polycaprolactone), and PLA (Polylactic Acid). The degradation process of biodegradable products is designed to break down slowly, whereby they are consumed at a microscopic level. Their degradation process is external; it results from the action of microorganisms like bacteria, algae, and fungi. The biodegradable process occurs naturally, whereas the compostable process needs a particular type of environment to work.
All materials will eventually degrade, whether it takes months or thousands of years. Technically speaking, virtually any product can be labelled biodegradable, so, the term biodegradable can be misleading. When companies label their products as biodegradable, they intend that they degrade at a faster rate than other materials.
Biodegradable plastics take between three to six months to decompose, which is quicker than most regular plastics – which can take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Biodegradeable plastics break down much faster than ordinary plastics at a landfill; this is a good thing for the environment, as nobody wants products lasting forever in our landfills. You mustn’t try to compost these plastics at home; it’s far easier to bring them to the proper facilities, where they have the right equipment in place. Biodegradable plastics are used to make packaging, bags, and trays.
Benefits of biodegradable plastics over compostable items
Biodegradable plastics don’t require a particular environment to degrade, unlike compostable products. The biodegradable process needs three things, temperature, time, and moisture.
Judin Packing’s Vision and Strategy
At Judin Packing, we aim is to provide our clients from all over the world with environmentally sound food service containers, industrial eco-friendly food packaging materials, disposable, and reusable shopping bags. Our vast range of food packaging supplies, and packaging products will cater to your business, big or small.
We will provide your business with high-quality products while at the same time lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing waste; we know how many companies are as conscientious about the environment as we are. Judin Packing’s products contribute to healthy soil, safe marine life, and less pollution.
Post time: Apr-20-2021