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What is the Difference between Compostable and Biodegradable?


Taking good care of the environment is a must-do thing. Putting the environment first at all times can bring better outcomes. It can protect us from scarcity and deadly disasters, including storms, floods, landslides, thunder and more.

Given that, different pro-environment programs and movements were initiated to support further protection of the environment. Some of those are the concepts of compostable and biodegradable that leads to effective garbage segregation. These are both products of the never-ending search for effective green solutions and products. But what do these two processes mean? Is there a competition between these two?

Below is a brief discussion about the pros, cons, ins, and outs of both biodegradable and compostable products.

What is Biodegradable?

When we say biodegradable, it simply means that the material is able to be disintegrated by fungi, bacteria, or other biological processes and hosts. In short, biodegradable materials can be dissolved in the surface, for it has the active properties that attract hosts and biological processes to break down its physical components.

The meaning is already there. But for a clearer one, let us chop the term itself. So, bio refers to life, and degrade refers to break down. Connected with that is the word able, which means possible or expected to happen. Basically, biodegradation is nature’s process wherein it takes the course to break down materials aligned to its component parts. For example, a banana peel will be broken down by fungi and bacteria, leaving no trace on its place. Another one is plastic, which can be broken down into carbon dioxide and so much more. Simple, isn’t it?

Furthermore, a lot of things we make use in our daily lives are almost all biodegradable. Time is the only difference between these biodegradable materials. In particular, plastics are materials that can take years or decades before its complete disintegration process. A natural breaking down of the process of used plastics can take lots of time, but it is ensured that this material can be dissolved from the surface.

Another example is a used baby diaper. This material is used to aid babies when they are going to pee and poop at night. Lots of people are worried about the time required for this to be dissolved, but this can be broken down eventually from being piled in landfills.

For the last thing in biodegradability, different companies like to claim that their packaging is all biodegradable and safe. This is an indication that it can be either reused or thrown as long as without hurting the environment. Honestly, this is an advantage. No one wants to have a polluted soil that is unable to grow more resources such as plants and trees. All of us are looking forward to a green and healthy environment that is responsible for providing us with our basic needs in life.

What is Compostable?

On the other hand, we also have compostable, which is another green and smart solution to help preserve the environment. Simply, this refers to a compost heap. This is when organic materials are being decomposed and then made as a fertilizer for the soil. This is the process of organic waste recycling that can be reused for other green projects.

In the packaging systems, compostable or composting means different. Typically, when a packaging company claims that their products are all compostable, this means that it can be composted or turned into compost. However, there is a distinction in which industrial composting facilities are involved.

There are compostable products that do not biodegrade in a landfill naturally. Hence, there is a need for it to be placed in facilities or conditions that will trigger their properties to be decomposed. Another thing, there are compostable materials that can take a long time before it gets broken down in a landfill. In most cases, this happens in landfill that is air locked.

Yes, compostable materials are good and a breather for the environment, but it is still the best to ensure that you know how to segregate your wastes properly. Make sure that you have a compost to fill up with compostable wastes you use in your daily life. In this way, contamination and soil pollution will be reduced, allowing the environment to be safe and protected.

Difference between Biodegradable and Compostable

You may be confused about these two. But there are differences in between that must be considered at all times. For the primary difference, biodegradable materials do not need any facility for it to break down. It just does the process naturally.

With compostable materials, facilities, and other procedures are still needed to ensure that it will be decomposed. Also, composting is way faster than biodegradable since it has the help of particular facilities and procedures under the right conditions. But above all, both of these are smart and green solutions that aim to protect and conserve our environment.