Choose Compostables

Choose Compostables for a Healthy Environment

There’s a lot of confusion over what is “compostable” versus “biodegradable.” Here’s the breakdown.

Compostable products

  • Break down into water, CO2, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a similar rate to paper
  • Disintegrate into small pieces within 90 days so the original product is not visually distinguishable in compost
  • Must leave minimal or no toxic residue

Biodegradable products

  • Disintegrate by biological means
  • May leave toxic residue and
  • Can be made of anything that can be decomposed by microorganisms with enough time

Greenwashing

Unfortunately, some manufacturers have confused consumers by loosely misusing “compostable” and “biodegradable.” This “greenwashing” of products to seem like they harmlessly decompose is hiding the fact that they are biodegrading toxic materials so you can’t see them but they are still in the environment.


It’s important as conscious consumers to make sure that every choice we make takes into account our impact on the world. Choosing truly compostable, plant-based products over petroleum-based products - biodegradable or not - results in less energy consumption, water use, and emission of pollution and toxins.

Characteristics of compostable materials

Different compostable materials offer different combinations of benefits and limitations. World Centric® products are made from materials that follow the cycle of life on Earth: beginning and ending as nutrient-rich soil. Our products are made from a variety of compostable materials, including:

Each of these compostable materials carries a unique set of benefits and limitations, and they all compost at different rates under different conditions.

Eco-profiles of compostable products

We measure the environmental impacts of compostable products and their conventional counterparts. Choosing products that have lighter environmental footprints than their conventional counterparts is one small step toward the goal of sustainable living. We know it will take time for consumers and businesses to transition to a Zero Waste economy. Our World Centric® compostable products are one measurable step in the right direction.


The environmental footprints of different products can be measured and compared through their “eco-profiles.” These profiles include ecologically relevant information about the manufacturing of the products, including energy consumption, water consumption, carbon emissions, and pollution. An eco-profile provides only a subset of the information in a complete life-cycle analysis, which also considers the impacts of packaging, distribution, consumer use, and disposal.