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Compostable bags, how do they differ from biodegradable bags?

Everyone is talking about compostable bags, but not everyone is aware of what makes them unique from other types of bags, like biodegradable bags.


When we discuss biodegradable bags, we consider a way to reduce the pollution that plastic bags produce. Are you interested in learning more about its very particular ecological features?

What is a compostable bag?

This kind of bag is created using renewable plant-based resources, which means that bioplastic is created from the regular plastic bag's raw material.


As a result, the biodegradation process is exponentially reduced: Traditional plastic bags naturally degrade over 450 years, whereas biodegradable bags do so in as little as six months.

Meaning of compostable

The first thing to understand is that not all plastics decay in the same way when we use the phrase "compostable," which refers to how plastic biodegrades.


Compostability is a human-created process where a product can biodegrade under physical conditions that do not often exist in the natural world.


High humidity, high temperatures, and a sizable amount of oxygen are necessary for this process. Compostable bags break down at the same rate as the organic material they contain, which can help you understand this better with an example.

Differences between compostable and biodegradable bags

In contrast to biodegradable bags, compostable bags go through a distinct decomposition process. The key distinction is that biodegradable bags typically decompose in nature without the involvement of humans, in contrast to compostable bags.


It is a degradation brought on by a biological process involving several species that occurs in a natural setting. For instance, plants and animals digest this waste on their own.

Is compostable or biodegradable synonymous with bioplastics?

In contrast to plastics generated from petroleum, bioplastics are made from renewable biomass sources like fats, vegetables, or oils.


There are several different types of bioplastics. They may, for instance, be derived from microorganisms or the acids found in plants like corn.


It's important to understand the connection between the terms "bioplastic" and "compostable" or "biodegradable" at this point: Although most bioplastics are compostable and biodegradable, these qualities are not a requirement for a material to be categorised as a bioplastic.

Properties of compostable bags

Many times, we are wary of using these bags because we think they won't operate as well as regular plastic bags, but after examining their characteristics, many preconceptions can be dispelled.

  • Flexibility

  • Resistance

  • Impermeability

  • Tolerance to humidity

In addition to these physical properties, the social advantages of using compostable bags are fundamental to considering their use:

  • They have become a great tool in favour of environmental awareness

  • They represent an ideal alternative to the use of plastic bags in everyday life

  • They reduce environmental pollution globally and in specific points such as streets, beaches and rivers

  • They allow improving specific areas in terms of sanitation

How may these bags be recycled?

Once you've made the decision to use compostable bags, be sure to discard them properly.

This is done in the "organic only" garbage bin so that the bag can be used as another component to make compost, a material made from organic materials that have undergone an oxidation process (composting).

Compostable bags should be disposed of in "residual" bins if such containers are not available, avoiding the use of metal, paper, plastic, or glass containers.

How is compostable packaging regulated?

  1. There is a framework that defines the following requirements and serves as a standard for the compostability of various types of packaging:

  2. composition control to omit items like heavy metals and other environmentally damaging substances

  3. determining whether 90% of the damage has occurred within 6 months

  4. the determination of maximum size (less than two square metres)

  5. determining whether the biowaste may be composted

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