It's a wrap

Fact or Fiction?

"All biodegradable products are made from natural, organic materials!"


While biodegradability is a property inherent to many organic materials, though not all biodegradable products are made from renewable resources. Some petroleum-based plastics can be biodegradable and can even biodegrade in home compost.

"All bio-based plastics are biodegradable!"


It is important to understand that the nature of the raw material is not directly connected for it to biodegrade. An examples of bioplastics but non-biodegradable plastics include bio-PE and bio-PET. Since these have the same chemical structure as their petroleum based cousins, these are not biodegradable and should be recycled like conventional PET.


"If a product is biodegradable, I can throw it into the environment and it will disappear on its own!"


Firstly, throwing waste into the environment is never a good idea. Secondly, biodegradability is a very broad term and does not automatically mean that a product will degrade in any environment. Degradation is dependent on factors such as temperature, time and the presence of bacteria and fungi in the specific environment.

"Biodegradability is a quick solution!"


Biodegradation takes quite a bit of time. How much exactly, is very dependent on the environment. In industrial composting facilities, materials will biodegrade within 6 months, but in open environments, it will take much longer, often at least a year or several years. And if you wait for hundreds of years, even “durable” plastics will start to degrade. Biodegradation is not always biodegradation – details are important.


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