You've heard these terms before. But do you know what Biodegradable and Compostable actually mean?
According to ASTM standards, biodegrables are "anything that undergoes degradatation resulting from the action of naturally occurring microorganisms."
As of Oct 2020, BSI have introduced a new UK standard stating plastics will have to break down into organic matter and carbon dioxide in the open ait within two years to be classed as biodegradable.
Compostable materials are those that can break down completely in to non-toxic components that will not harm the environment given the right conditions.
Some materials can decompose in your home compost but some need industrial composting facilities
What's the Difference?
It can be confusing looking at both definitions but one thing to remember is that all compostable materials are biodegradable, BUT not all biodegradable materials are compostable.
Why should I care?
Although biodegradable materials do brekadown in nature they can sometiumes leave residues. On the other hand, compostable materials decompose into nutrients which are great for plants. Hence, compost is often called "black gold".