In fact, many people will have the misunderstanding that biodegradation and compostable degradation is a concept. In fact, there are some differences between them. Today, let us take a look at the difference between biodegradable and compostable.
Biodegradation represents a process.It refers to the erosion of materials by microorganisms (bacteria or fungi), decomposition, and eventually conversion of biomass, water and carbon dioxide metabolism into the natural environment. For example, vegetable peels, eggshells, paper and garden waste exposed to the environment can directly biodegrade into water, carbon dioxide and biomass over a period of time and be absorbed into the natural environment.
In addition, most of the “biodegradable” goods on the market are difficult to achieve the purpose of degradation through natural biological degradation, which has to create artificial conditions for degradation, which is another degradation method we mentioned – compostable.
The term “compostable” refers to a product or material that can biodegrade under specific, human-driven circumstances.Unlike a completely natural biodegradation process, composting requires human intervention.
If the material is compostable, it means that under composting conditions i.e. temperature, humidity, oxygen and the presence of microorganisms, it will decompose into carbon dioxide, water and nutrient-rich compost within a specific time. The composting process usually takes a few months or 1-3 years. There are two main compostable types.
- Home compost
Home composting involves collecting food scraps into bins or piles, mixing them with yard waste, and periodically breaking them down into more basic organic matter. Household compost containers have small capacity and are usually exposed to ambient temperatures. In this case, compostable material will decompose within 180 days.
- Commercial or industrial compost
Commercial or industrial composting involves screening and sorting organic and inorganic matter, breaking them down with chippers and grinders, and creating optimal humidity, temperature, and oxygen conditions. The same compostable material will decompose in about 90 days under these conditions, about half the time of household compost.