Wondering what biodegradable means and what happens to your biodegradable waste? Biotuff breaks down all the tech behind biodegradable and compostable products and why purchasing these products is the sustainable way forward.
Biodegradable and compostable products are certainly making a massive surge in recent times. The need to create a more sustainable future with products more aligned with the environment and reducing emissions has seen a rise in more eco-friendly household products. However, embracing the bio-trend has left many of us purchasing products with little understanding of the whole concept.
What Are Biodegradable Products?
Biodegradable products are products that are able to break down at a much faster rate than their previous counterparts. With some help from mother nature, biodegradable products can be broken down naturally with compounds and microorganisms. When exposed to the correct moisture levels, air, and microbes, biodegradable products break down into non-toxic elements. Traditional plastic products do not break down. Only decomposing into tiny plastic molecules that can enter not only our ecosystem – but also our lungs! Causing horrific circumstances for our planet and our future.
It is essential to understand that if something is just ‘biodegradable’, it is not necessarily compostable. When a product is biodegradable and compostable, this allows the product to break down like food scraps – plus, it leaves no toxic components. Combining the two – biodegradable and compostable - is the most environmentally friendly option. True biodegradable plastics must break down into non-toxic elements – primarily water, salts, biomass, or carbon dioxide.
How Do Biodegradable Products Help the Planet?
The plastic boom has left humanity with a vast and dangerous environmental disaster. Plastic has been proven to enter every corner and species on earth. Today studies have indicated that it is even present in our air. This realisation prompted a massive call for change. The production of quality biodegradable products alongside compostable bioplastics reduces the amount of plastic being created and used around the globe. Biodegradable products can break down over time, unlike plastic, which leaves a toxic molecule even have decades of decomposing. In addition, biodegradable and compostable products use much less energy to create and reduce emissions and landfill waste.
Does Biodegradable Mean Environmentally Friendly?
Not all biodegradable plastics are developed equally, meaning some are much better than others. Understanding this is vital. Looking for biodegradable and compostable plastics, that can be disposed of correctly is essential. It is crucial to invest in businesses that focus on ensuring their products are easily broken down, in the home or industrial composting facilities. Consumer choice is higher than ever. Doing a little research ensures that the biodegradable products you invest in are environmentally friendly and not just convenient.
How Are Biodegradable Products Broken Down?
Biodegradable products are decomposed with the correct elements of moisture, air, and naturally occurring microbes. With the proper moisture and temperature, these microbes will start to eat and ingest the bioplastic. However, just being biodegradable still takes time, and the environment needs to be perfect for these elements to break down. If you are putting your biodegradable products in the landfill, the moisture levels may not be enough to start the process. Sadly, many biodegradable products are incorrectly discarded, meaning they take a very long time – if ever – to break down. However, choosing biodegradable and compostable products can seriously speed up the process – particularly in an industrial composting facility.
With the correct humidity, aeration and temperature, these products can be completely composted and converted into golden soil. The key is to understand the product you are using and dispose of it correctly to help your impact on the environment. It all starts with conscious purchasing, use, and disposal. All biodegradable and compostable plastics need to be correctly disposed of to ensure their intended environmentally friendly components can perform.
How Are Biodegradable Items Made?
Bioplastics and compostable plastics and materials are mainly made from plant-based biomass like sugar cane, corn starch, or wheat – some even utilise potatoes in this process. Allowing them to break down into naturally occurring elements – unlike traditional plastics. Always ensure your biodegradable products are produced from a renewable and sustainable resource and are plant-based – containing no GMO.
Are Biodegradable and Compostable the Same?
It’s important to understand that all compostable products are biodegradable – however, not all biodegradable products are compostable! It’s all about how these products discompose and break down. Looking for products and supporting those who ensure their products are both biodegradable and compostable is critical when considering the planet. Investing in biodegradable and compostable products and bioplastics will ensure that the product breaks down completely and leaves no toxic residue.
Being compostable is also renewable – compost is incredible for creating nutrient-rich soils that can encourage better growth of plants that clean our air while also feeding us. Compostable also means it will break down at a much faster rate. However, with all biodegradable and compostable products, correct disposal is imperative to ensure the product has the proper moisture and temperatures to break down accordingly.
Consumers need to understand that the eco-friendly process only starts with the products they choose to buy that are biodegradable and compostable. However, there is more to the process that needs to be considered. Correctly disposing of these products is just as important as product choice. Sadly, one of the biggest misconceptions about biodegradable and compostable materials is once you have purchased them, the job is done.
An emphasis on correct disposal is vital to ensure your packaging, plastics, or products break down correctly. Biodegradable and compostable products need the right environment, temperature, humidity, and moisture to ensure the microbes can ingest and transform the product from an eco-friendly plastic bag into a naturally occurring element.
With a bit of thought and understanding, you can easily ensure the products you support that are biodegradable or compostable do not end up in landfills or environments where they cannot break down accordingly.
Biotuff creates biodegradable and compostable retail and household items – helping Australians make better choices that directly impact their emissions and landfill waste. Fixing the plastic problems of the past and preventing them for future generations.