The Difference Between Biodegradable, Compostable, Recyclable and Reusable


Each of us need to do our piece to help protect and restore our plant and small changes can start with you! This change can start with becoming more conscious about what you are putting back into the environment and reducing the amount you are sending off to landfill.

There has been an emergence of biodegradable and compostable products as a way to help minimise our impact on landfills, but what are these products and how are they different from each other?

The main differences between biodegradable and compostable products are related to the composition of their materials, how they decompose, and any residual elements left after decomposition. We all know that plastic can take decades to fully decompose, however with biodegradable plastics or products, they have the ability to break down in a year or less, decomposing into natural substances, minimising the buildup of waste in landfills, and benefiting our natural environment!

Similar to biodegradable, compostable products can also fully decompose within the natural environment, however, the main difference is that biodegradable products refer to any material that breaks down whereas compostable products are solely organic elements that decompose and enrich the earth with nutrients once their material has broken down. This not only reduces the magnitude of waste in landfills but also restores nutrients back into the earth. Compostable products also use less water, energy and fewer greenhouse gas emissions within the manufacturing process.

Not only is switching to biodegradable and compostable products beneficial for the environment, choosing recyclable and reusable products is also extremely important. So, what is the difference between recyclable and reusable?

Before throwing out your empty glass bottles or plastic containers, know that these can be recycled and turned into new reusable products! Glass recycling can create new items including jars, while plastic recycling can create new bottles for items like shampoo. Contrastingly, reusable items are products which can be used for another purpose other than being thrown away like recyclable products. Reusable products include plastic take away containers which can be used to store food and old clothes can be turned into rags or donated to Op Shops, friends, or family!

At WholeLife, we offer an array of products that offer an option to help support our natural environment including products that are recyclable, reusable, biodegradable, or compostable materials. Look out for the symbols in our store and catalogue that help identify the options available.

Make sure you read our Top In Store Sustainability Picks blog and check out our Instagram @wholelifepharmacyandhealthfood to plan your WholeLife haul!

Feature Image Via: Ecostore

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