There's a lot of confusion over what is "compostable" versus "biodegradable." Here's the breakdown.
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
Disintegrate by biological means
May leave toxic residue and
Can be made of anything that can be decomposed by microorganisms with enough time
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:
Compostable PLA plastic primarily made from corn
FSC certified paper
Each of these compostable materials carries a unique set of benefits and limitations, and they all compost at different rates under different conditions.
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.