What are the differences between
Recyclable / Compostable / Biodegradable?


Recyclable or recycling are the most common buzz words out of the three. What it means is that if an item is recyclable it is broken down and repurposed to form something else. It is important to note that all recyclable items must be clean before they are put into a recycling bag. If there are still food particles attached, the entire batch of recycling is contaminated and cannot be used.


Compostable refers to something, usually plant material, that is broken down naturally into ‘humus’ which will enrich the soil for planting. However, there are other items which are compostable such as uncoated cardboard and paper, tea leaves (not in tea bags), horse manure, eggshells. The heat generated in a compost heap will act as a catalyst for breaking down materials.


Biodegradable is similar to compostable, the difference being the absence of plant material. More and more manufacturers are finding ways of creating biodegradable products such as shopping bags, disposable coffee cups, paper, cardboard food boxes and more, with the ability to be broken down hopefully quickly into natural materials without causing harm to the environment.