As more and more sustainable products enter the mainstream, more buzzwords enter our vernacular. But which should you choose? What's the difference? And which is the most sustainable option? Read on for our take on the great debate: biodegradable vs degradable vs compostable.
What does biodegradable mean?
Biodegradable products are products that can be decomposed or broken down by bacteria or other living organisms once they are discarded into general household rubbish. Plenty of household items, including beauty and dental health products, are biodegradable, making them great options for anyone wanting to maintain a toxin-free home. For this reason, I recommend starting with the bathroom when looking to reduce your household waste.
Swap out your regular plastic toothbrush with a biodegradable toothbrush, like the Jack n' Jill Bunny Toothbrush for kids or the Life Basics Bamboo & Charcoal Toothbrush for adults, and swapping your traditional plastic loofah and makeup wipes with a Life Basics Pink Clay Konjac Sponge.
Did you know... biodegradable packaging and products are designed to break down in soil, which means biodegradable products cannot be recycled. Make sure they don't get mixed up in your household recycling bin!
What is the difference between biodegradable and degradable?
While biodegradable products are broken down by bacteria, degradable products also break down in soil however they don't require living organisms or bacteria to do so. Instead, they contain special chemicals that kickstart this breakdown process. Given that degradable products do still contain these chemicals, I recommend choosing products that are biodegradable or compostable over degradable options.
A not-so-fun fact... Degradable plastic bags and other degradable products don't actually completely dissolve in nature, and they can leave behind microplastic that can end up in the food chain- another reason why I always recommend biodegradable products over supposedly "degradable" plastic!
What does compostable mean?
Compostable products are similar to biodegradable product in that they can be broken down by living organisms such as bacteria. The difference between compostable products vs biodegradable products is that, as their name suggests, compostable items can be thrown into household compost. A compost bin is a really great way to get the whole family, particularly the kids, involved in your efforts to reduce household waste!
When it comes to compost, I recommend starting in the kitchen by replacing traditional plastics with compostable options, like the BioBag Compostable Bin Liners and Onya Bin Liners. Want to know how to compost but aren't sure where to start? I recommend the BioBag Max Air 2 Ventilated Compost Caddy!
Did you know... Composting isn't just a great way to reduce your general waste - it can also cut down your food waste significantly. The Swag provides reusable storage bags designed to keep groceries fresher for longer. Made from natural, breathable Cotton and using three layers of protection, The Swag keeps produce fresh, helping to slow down fruit and veggies going bad which help to reduce food waste significantly. In Australia, 35% of annual household waste comprises food scraps that could be tossed into compost instead.
For a truly sustainable lifestyle and a waste-free home, it's important to consider the environmental impact of the products you choose before, during, and after use. Choosing biodegradable or compostable options where possible is a great way to improve the environmental impact of your household!
Shop our natural home products and Zero Waste products now.