Biodegradable VS Compostable

What Does Biodegradable Mean?
Biodegradable refers to a product or object breaking down into natural elements, carbon dioxide, and water vapor by organisms such as bacteria and fungi, which are harmless to the environment.

Generally, products that are derived from plants, animals, or natural minerals are biodegradable.

While,technically,almost everything is biodegradable, although it will take hundreds of thousands of years for most things to biodegrade.

Classified by Source of Ingredients
According to the source of raw materials, biodegradable plastics can be divided into bio-based biodegradable plastics and petrochemical-based biodegradable plastics.

Among them, bio-based biodegradable plastics can be divided into four main categories:
1-plastics directly processed from natural materials;
2-polymers obtained by the joint participation of microbial fermentation and chemical synthesis;
3-polymers directly synthesized by microorganisms;
4-biodegradable plastics obtained by blending these materials or blending these materials with other chemically synthesized biodegradable plastics.

Petrochemical-based biodegradable plastics refer to plastics obtained by polymerizing petrochemical monomers by chemical synthesis, such as PBAT, polybutylene succinate (PBS), carbon dioxide copolymer (PPC), etc.

Classified by Biodegradation Process
Biodegradable plastics can be divided into completely biodegradable plastics and destructive biodegradable plastics.
Destructive biodegradable plastics currently mainly include starch modified (or filled) polyethylene PE, polypropylene PP, polyvinyl chloride PVC, polystyrene PS and so on.

Completely biodegradable plastics are mainly made from natural macromolecules (such as starch, cellulose, chitin) or agricultural and sideline products through microbial fermentation or synthesis of biodegradable macromolecules, such as thermoplastic starch plastics, aliphatic polyesters, and polylactic acid , Starch/polyvinyl alcohol, etc. are all such plastics.

Biodegradable plastics based on natural substances such as starch currently mainly include the following products: polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), starch plastics, bioengineering plastics, bio-general plastics (polyolefin and polychloride) Ethylene).
Polylactic acid (PLA)
Natureworks of the United States has done active and effective work in improving the production process of polylactic acid. It has developed the fermentation of glucose from corn to produce polylactic acid, with an annual production capacity of 14,000 tons. Japan's UNITIKA company has developed and produced many kinds of products, among which canvas, trays, tableware, etc. are widely used in the Aichi Expo in Japan.

China's industrialization is Zhejiang Hisun Biodegradable Plastic Co., Ltd.

Application of the biodegradable plastics
Due to its good degradability, biodegradable plastics are mainly used as food soft and hard packaging materials, which is also the largest application field at this stage.

The main target markets for biodegradable plastics are plastic packaging films, agricultural films, disposable plastic bags and disposable plastic tableware. Compared with traditional plastic packaging materials, the cost of new degradable materials is slightly higher. However, with the increasing awareness of environmental protection, people are willing to use new degradable materials with a higher price to protect the environment. The increased awareness of environmental protection has brought huge development opportunities to the biodegradable new material industry.

What Does Compostable Mean?
Compostable means that a product will break down into natural elements, but only in a composting environment. It is a biodegradable form that can convert organic waste (such as food residues and fallen leaves) into humus, a dark brown substance that can provide valuable nutrients to the soil.
Compostable materials are typically made from plants and other organic materials, such as corn starch, bagasse, or PLA (polylactic acid) .
Compared with biodegradable products, compostable products have two additional benefits: they decompose faster, many decompose in about 90 days, and they also decompose into nutrient-rich products that create healthy soil for the earth.
Compostable products are good for the environment.

compostable cutlery

Biodegradable VS Compostable
The difference between biodegradable plastic and compostable material
Firstly, both biodegrable and compostable products are better for the environment than the traditional plastic products that can take hundreds of years to disintegrate.

Secondly, all compostable products are all biodegradable, but not all biodegradable material is compostable.
The biodegradable materials return to nature and can disappear completely, however, they sometimes leave behind metal residue.
The compostable products and materials leave behind a nutrient-rich organic material called humus, which creates a healthy soil environment for the trees and plants’ growth.
In one word, compostable products are biodegradable, but with an added benefit.

Thirdly, The difference between compostable and biodegradable is that compostable products require a specific setting or industrial facilities in order to break down, whereas biodegradable products break down naturally.

Generally, composting is a faster process, usually within 90 days, but only under the right conditions.
Biodegradable plastics refer to some plastics that can be decomposed into carbon dioxide and water in the natural environment, or composting conditions, or soil conditions, or high solids. The latter requires not only the material to become carbon dioxide and water, but also the composting During the cycle, the plastic can become small pieces less than 2cm in size, and the heavy metal content of the compost produced by the compost must meet the standards of various countries, and the compost will not have an adverse effect on the growth of plants compared with the traditional compost.

Post time: Feb-12-2022