What do Recyclable Biodegradable Compostable really mean?

Recycle Compostable Biodegradable

The terms recyclable, biodegradable and compostable are mostly used interchangeably but they have some distinctive features that set them apart. Most of these terms are mostly used in regards to food-related items but still they cause a lot of confusion to most people. Understanding their differences is the best way to discover how to use them properly. Here is some information that may help you distinguish them.


This is the most commonly used term because of the way most items are recycled. Recyclable, therefore, refer to items that have been put under the recycling process. The process helps in the preservation of resources because it prevents the incineration process of all products. It also makes it easier to have the same products using the same materials and therefore reduces the production cost. Different materials are considered to be recyclable and they include glass, plastic, paper, and cardboard and others are dry recycling. Every region has several companies handling recycling which makes it easier for you to find one. 

You should note that the recycled material could be made into a product with a lower grade. This means that the process isn’t completely efficient. It is still the best way to save resources and it still creates the most impact. When some materials like steel are recycled, the process saves a lot of energy, up to 75%. Steel is the material used to make most of the canned food like fruits. The energy can then be used in homes instead, with research showing that up to 18 million homes benefit from such energy. Recycling doesn’t work on some materials like lead, gold, and copper but such materials can be used to produce usable materials like platinum that is then used to make products like computers that are recyclable.Most recyclable materials are easy to come by and are usually found in dumpsites. This is why it’s important to keep the containers clean. For instance, you should rinse off any food and leave the containers clean. Any food left inside could lead to contamination that in return leads the materials being damaged.


Compostable materials are those that start to decay after a short time. Unlike recyclable material, compostable ones aren’t used to making other products especially those in the consumer industry. However, these materials aren’t completely useless because they can be used to fertilize the soil. This means that in a way they also contribute to the consumption industry. Most of them are usually safe which means that the food product that comes from their use isn’t contaminated.

Compost materials also vary and they include plastic as well. However, some materials may take longer to disintegrate than others. Some of them will only break down when subjected to heat and that’s why they are kept in a warm environment. Some of the material can disappear completely but others leave some traces like metal lying around. They are usually able to produce soil that is very rich in nutrients and as such, can boost production or all types of crops. The process of degrading compost differs depending on the scale of humus you want. Large scale production means that the process will be done in a factory setting but you can also practice some small scale production in your own home.

If you decide to try out composting materials by yourself, you should learn about the right procedures to follow to help you get more from the materials. Try using compostable materials in front of the house if you don’t have a compost site. Creating a compost site is easy but if you lack space just use your front yard and back yard. You can use good materials on the back.


Biodegradable material is often confused with compostable but they differ. The former has no time frame and the process is natural but the latter is usually done within two weeks and some human interference can be applied. Biodegradable products could take up 10 years before it is completed. Biodegradable products are also not certified. Although most people associate biodegradation with plants, other materials like plastics and papers can also degrade. 

Many organizations have come up with different ways to help you cater for the degradation and recycling of products. For instance, Green King has come up with compostable straws that will ensure you don’t leave any waste behind. By using such products you’ll be ensuring that the surrounding isn’t littered and that no harmful elements like plastic that could harm animals are taken care of. The above processes also ensure that all animals, wild and domestic remain safe and healthy. The more these processes are used, the less waste there will be in water bodies and the fish will be safer. 

With the distinction of the above terminologies, you can now use them appropriately and go for recycled products instead. The processes aren’t just great for efficient resource usage but they also help in keeping the environment safe. By using products that have been recycled, you will be playing your role in making the world a better place, when buying items that state they are biodegradable make sure you understand the process that it has to go through to biodegrade and when purchasing compostable items, be sure to dispose of them in the correct way.  To play a part in helping our environment we must all purchase from companies that not only make products which can be composted or recycled but also practice recycling and sustainability within the organisation. The companies operate in a wide range of products that should make it easier for you to find any product you want.

For instance, you can buy environment-friendly paper straw from Sipping Green Ltd, that is concerned about the effect other forms of production could cause on the environment. The company prioritises the production of eco-friendly products.


Finding out more information about how to carry out the processes above is the best way to ensure the safety of every living thing. Improper disposal not only affects the animals but they also affect humans. The more we start practicing food disposal behaviours the better the environment will be and the more the animals, including fish will thrive. Proper disposal will also reduce the level of contamination humans are exposed to. Taking simple steps such as ensuring that you don’t just throw around your waste products. Ensuring that all the food is removed from the containers, especially the sticky ones. If not sure about how to dispose of, recycle, or compost your waste material, find some guidelines online. There are many options to choose from so you’ll be able to find a suitable option.

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