The Difference between Biodegradable and Compostable

Plant-based bathroom accessories hanging on a wall

Plastic pollution is a significant concern all over the world. It is on the rise due to the high production of single-use plastics worldwide. Over half the plastic produced worldwide is turned into single-use items. Single-use plastic waste has significant consequences on the environment and the health of living organisms. Biodegradable and compostable products are eco-friendly solutions to the globally prevalent plastic pollution.

The terms “biodegradable” and “compostable” are often used interchangeably. These two terms, however, are different in several ways. As the famous saying goes, “All compostable items are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable products are compostable.”

Let’s take a look at each of these terms individually to understand the differences.

Biodegradable

A man holding a biodegradable container and packaging

 

Biodegradable products are naturally occurring products that can be broken down into harmless elements with the help of microbes such as algae, bacteria, and fungi. The harmless elements take the form of carbon dioxide, water, and biomass.

Biodegradation is a naturally-occurring process impacted by variables such as oxygen, water, and light. The process usually takes place in landfills after the biodegradable products are discarded. Biodegradation can take a few days or up to 500 years or more, depending on the item that is being biodegraded.

Compostable

Compostable materials are organic materials that can be completely broken down into valuable fertilizers. Unlike biodegradable products, compostable products require human intervention to compost. The human intervention involves providing optimal conditions regarding oxygen, organic matter, and water to allow successful composting. The complete composting process can take months or three years, depending on the conditions and type of composting environment.

Food waste composting promotes ecological sustainability and can help you reduce your carbon footprint. With compostable products, you don’t have to worry about burdening landfills. Let’s take a look at some other benefits of composting.

 

Vegetable peels on a chopping board kept next to a compost box

 

Improves Soil Structure

Composting can improve soil regeneration by providing the soil with essential nutrients and balancing its pH. It enhances soil fertility, which helps to keep the plants protected from diseases and nutrient deficiencies.

Lowers Greenhouse Emissions

Landfill wastage is among the leading causes of emissions of toxic greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Switching to compostable products can help you minimize your carbon footprint.

Controls Erosion

Soil erosion is usually caused by excess water. A compost pile can hold excessive amounts of water to help prevent erosion. It acts as a sponge to soak all the water and keep the soil on top.

Improves Crop Productivity

The fertile nature of compost can improve the soil structure and regeneration without farmers buying costly fertilizers and pesticides. Compost can also help farmers make more money by improving crop productivity.

Home Composting

If you’re considering composting at home, then you need to ensure the following steps to create a compost pile:

  • Start your compost pile in a bare spot located near a water body.
  • Add moist layers of brown or green materials such as food scraps, straws, and leaves to the pile.
  • Then add grass clippings, green waste, wheatgrass, or buckwheat to activate the compost pile.
  • Finally, cover the compost pile with a tarp or plastic sheet so that it can retain the necessary heat and moisture.

 

Green leafed seedlings in black pots

 

Buy Plant-Based Products from TP Green

TP Green provides a range of certified plant-based products that are biodegradable and compostable. The products include but are not limited to sugarcane dine-in tableware, eco-friendly reusable bags, kraft boxes, and disposable bin liners. Shifting to these products can help you promote ecological sustainability. You can get a home food composting machine from TP Green’s online store to ease the burden on landfills and minimize your carbon footprint. The shop will deliver your order to your doorstep in any part of Kuwait. Shop with TP to support the green movement.

Contact TP Green now for more information on their nature-friendly products.

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