Are Compostable and Biodegradable the Same Thing?

Clean Out Your Recyclable Items

A lot of people like to use the terms “compostable” and “biodegradable” interchangeably. However, there are slight differences between them. Here is a detailed breakdown of the two terms to help better explain their similarities and differences.

What Is Biodegradable?

This is something that is often written on the labels of a ton of products, ranging from shampoos to specialty utensils. But what exactly does it mean? Biodegradable means that something is able to break down into largely harmless compounds.

But unlike other items that might take upwards of 100 years to break down, biodegradable items usually do it in less than a couple of months. In order to be biodegradable, something needs to either be animal-based, plant-based, or natural mineral-based.

Compost is an environmentally-friendly way to get rid of food waste.

What Is Compostable?

In order for something to be suitable for composting, it needs to be able to be broken down into a collection of natural elements that do not harm the environment. And something that is considered compostable will usually be completely broken down within 90 days of being put into a composting pile. Once they are done, the only things they produce are CO2, water, and some inorganic compounds, which are impossible to detect with the naked eye.

How Are They Different?

Although biodegradable and compostable may seem very similar at first, there is a key difference between them. While compostable materials will not leave behind any trace once they have finished breaking down, biodegradable products will sometimes leave behind some slight residue. Therefore, while all compostable material can be classified as biodegradable, not all biodegradable products are considered compostable.

Regardless of whether you use compostable or biodegradable products, you will be helping out the environment. So make sure to start using taking advantage of compostable services by contacting us at Sunrise Sanitation today.

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