Is Biodegradable the Same as Compostable?

Though biodegradable materials and compostable materials are the same still both of these terms are quite different. The information provided in this write-up can help you to know is biodegradable the same as compostable by understanding the difference between biodegradable and compostable.

In short, no, biodegradable is not the same as compostable. Let’s find out why, and what the differences are.

Introduction with Biodegradable products

Anything that can be broken up by some biological process or fungi, and bacteria, etc. can be known as a Biodegradable thing. When you break up this word into Bio, degrade and able then the meaning of its parts explains its working as bio means life, degrade means break up and able means possibility to happen. In this way, the live thing that can be broken down is known as biodegradable.

Basically, the process of biodegradation is a natural process in which nature breaks down different types of degradable materials into their components. Actually, with time almost everything is degraded naturally. The materials and products used in the packaging can be considered biodegradable if they can break down completely into their natural components after a short time of their disposal. The build-up of biodegradable waste materials can be reduced and a healthy, safe, and clean environment can be ensured because of their ability to degrading in landfills. Some of these products may take a few weeks to degrade whereas some a few months or years. Biodegradation of green products is faster than other products.

Usually, biodegradable materials include cardboards, corrugated cardboards, etc. However certain materials that may take a long time to degrade into their basic elements are also considered biodegradable like plastic and diapers etc. Though all plastics are not biodegradable still they can break down into water and carbon dioxide along with certain other elements. However, it may take several decades and even centuries to decompose naturally but will certainly break down one day.

Introduction with Compostable products

Actually compostable products are the same as biodegradable products as the tendency of both of these products is to return safely to the earth. But one thing that makes compostable materials better than biodegradable products that once they break down completely they can provide nutrients to the earth. These materials can be decomposed with the help of certain organic elements to generate fertilizer for the earth.

So the process of Composting includes the process of recycling organic waste to make it reusable ultimately after some time. On the piles of compostable materials, these organic materials are added at specific sites to decompose them depending upon certain natural elements like sunlight, wind, and drainage, etc.

However, the meaning of compostable can be a bit different in the world of packaging. According to this industry, everything that enters into their composting facility is compostable. It is important to understand this difference. In a landfill, compostable products may not be naturally biodegraded always. They need the right type of conditions, usually found in the compost facilities in the compost industries, for their proper break down into natural elements with time. It may take a longer time to break down compostable materials if air or oxygen is not allowed to enter the landfill. However, certain packing materials like loose fill packaging of foam, starch-based peanuts, soy- and water-based inks, and packing corrugated containers, etc. can be disposed of safely for composting as they can be dissolved in water.

Though compostable materials are environmentally friendly materials, you must ensure that the waste management system of your business has been maintained properly and the compostable waste of your business is transferred to the facility composting it.

Difference between biodegradable and compostable

The information provided in this write-up can help you to understand the difference between biodegradable materials and compostable materials.

  • The products that can be broken down into their basic element naturally in any condition are known as biodegradable but compostable materials require certain particular conditions to break down into their basic elements.
  • The process of composting materials can be faster than biodegradation only if it is carried on under suitable conditions.

In this way, both biodegradable and compostable materials are good for the environment. But there are certain biodegradables that may take several years to biodegrade like certain types of plastics etc. Even if biodegradable and compostable products are the same but the process of biodegradation and composting are different.


I'm Wayne, owner of I'm a father of 2. I love reviewing products and showcasing the very best in my best of review lists. I want people to make an informative decision by going through these reviews before purchasing their selected products.

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