BiodegradableV.S. Compostable

green plant

Products in the market are in packages of different types; manufacturers constantly work tirelessly to develop eco-friendly packages that will not harm our environment. We are going to compare and contrast biodegradable versus compostable materials.


Most packages in the market have the inscription, biodegradable word on the covers of the packaging materials. The biodegradable word is a combination of two words, "bio and degradable" bio means life, and degradable means to break down or disintegrate after some time. They are in the form of mineral-based, animal-based and plant-based materials. 

The decomposition rate varies from product to product, determined by the materials used and the manufacturing process. Plants-based products such as mango, potato, carrots, and orange peels can take a few weeks to decompose, while metals, plastics can take several years to disintegrate. Biodegradable materials don't decompose at the same rate. 

Biodegradable Materials

Biodegradable materials get disintegrated by living microorganisms, bacteria, algae, and fungi. Sunlight plays a vital role in the decomposition of the materials because heat, oxygen, PH, and moisture stimulate the decomposition process while cold temperatures slow down the decay of the materials. Various biodegradable materials are in our environment. Some of the biodegradable materials are:-

  • Food waste 
  • Human waste
  • Dead animals 
  • Paper waste
  • Sewerage 
  • Sewerage sludge
  • Dead plants

Composting is a process where biodegradable materials get degraded by bacteria, fungi, algae, and other living organisms into natural elements. Biodegradable products like banana peels take a shorter period to decompose than non-biodegradable materials like plastics and metals, which take longer. Most of the material, no matter the type, always end up disintegrating after some time.

In the manufacturing and packaging industry, compostable refers to products that can disintegrate by breaking them down into non-toxic elements. These products require heat, moisture, and microorganisms for the process to be completed successfully within a specific time. When these materials decompose, they degrade to natural elements. They tend to be eco-friendly; the process usually takes three (3) months, is determined by the conditions of the location of the materials; if the materials have required humidity, oxygen, and heat, they compose faster. Vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, banana peels, mango peels, potatoes, and cereals are good examples of compostable household items. When these materials decompose, they are used in the gardens to improve the soil's quality.

Difference Between Biodegradable and Compostable

The packaging materials that most industries package different products harm the environment. Some packaging containers contribute to the solid wastes that choke our environment, especially plastic materials, if they are not well disposed of in a recommended way.  

The definition of both seems confusing, but there are differences between the two; biodegradable materials are those products that disintegrate naturally after some time; some might even take 100 years to decay, regardless of compostable sounding different, it is biodegradable. Compostable materials decompose under certain conditions from the beginning to the end; bacteria, fungi, algae, other living organisms, heat, humidity, and oxygen contribute immensely to the success of decomposition. When Compost decomposes, the resulting product is the fertilizer used to improve the garden's soil fertility.

Compostable Dog Bags V.S. Biodegradable Dog Bags 

Over the years, pet keepers have been using single-use plastic bags to dispose of their pets' poop; and these bags have been hurting the environment by emitting toxic contents to the atmosphere and soil. Plastic bags take many years to degrade and disappear permanently from the service. When plastic bags can litter the environment if not disposed of well, most world oceans, rivers, and seas get littered with plastic materials that suffocate marine life and release toxins into the water, affecting the lifespan of the aquatic environment.

Compostable Dog Bags

Compostable material disintegrates faster in a home composting pile, pit, or industrial composting facility, where decomposable materials get thrown into; to undergo decomposition. When these compostable dog bags litter in the open, it might take time to decompose compared to the one disposed of in a conducing environment/composting pile.

Compostable dog bags have seemed to decompose faster after disposal. These bags are eco-friendly compared to other materials; because of their plant-based, recyclable materials. They disintegrate and get absorbed into the soil; compostable bags disappear after three months. 

Biodegradable Dog Bags

Biodegradable materials degrade through a biological process through bacteria, fungi, algae, and other living organisms after releasing the enzymes in the materials. 

Plastic and synthetic materials are known to take several years to break down; plastic always breaks down to CO2, H2O (water), and other elements that might not be eco-friendly.

Biodegradable dog bags take longer to degrade; however, manufacturers of biodegradable bags say that the bags can degrade after a short time. Research has stated that biodegradable bags can still be strong three years after being buried in the soil or sea; this means that their materials can still outlive the said lifespan.

Compostable Is the Best

Who is more Eco-friendly? Well, biodegradable must not be your choice for that. Compostable materials can be completely decomposed to nothing, nothing harmful left; while degradable things will still have their remains that may not be able to disappear.

Being a part of this green planet, let’s try to be a greener resident from now on, use greens, act green, be green.

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