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21.Sep.2022

What is the difference among degradability, biodegradability and compostability?

Degradability, Biodegradability, Compostability

Given that advanced technology brings convenience to life, the destructive impairment of the environment comes along imperceptibly. Therefore, considering the biological behavior at the beginning of product design is crucial. Suitable and methodical management ought to be carried out from the material selection to the after-used disposal.
 
To replace fossil fuels, choosing more eco-friendly materials for each field of industry is worthy of attention in the contemporary era. For instance, degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastics are similar but different terms. 

Degradable Plastics
The degradable plastic is from petrochemical or biological materials. Degradability including biological, photochemical, and chemical degradation means that the product fulfills the operational requirement without changing the performance in the expiration date, and it can degrade into harmless plastics after usage.
 
However, if the degradable waste is not handled scientifically and systematically, it will still cause soil contamination and groundwater pollution. This kind of plastics should be recycled properly like traditional plastics.  
 
*Degradability and biodegradability are not synonyms, but biodegradability is a subset of degradability.
 
Biodegradable Plastics
Biodegradable plastic is 100% degradable and can be fully digested by microbes as food or energy at particular temperatures and humidity. To be 100% degradable, the plastic needs to degrade in industrial compost and cannot degrade automatically in nature.
 
MAG’s PLA film made from the extract of natural plants (monomer material) is 100% biodegradable and compostable. After burial and compost, this eco-friendly material can decompose completely into H2O and CO2. Besides, PLA film contains non-toxicity and non-irritation and will not bring any damage. It is efficient for carbon emission reduction.
 
Compostable Plastics
Compostable plastic, the biodegradable plastic in industrial compost, can be decomposed into CO2, H2O, mineral salt and other biological materials. Eventually, the amount of heavy metal, toxicity test and remnant splinter should comply with the relevant standards such as ASTM 6400, ASTM 6868, and EN 13432.
 
Since the pandemic outbreak occurred, the percentage of public pollution has been rising annually. While developing businesses, implementing packaging sustainability to facilitate the sustainable plastic cycle simultaneously is a necessary solution. Following the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) principle is beneficial for both environment and the ecosystem.
 
References:
https://blog.ulifestyle.com.hk/article/causewevegot/4142530/可降解-可生物降解與可堆肥有什麼區別
https://www.easyatm.com.tw/wiki/可降解
https://kknews.cc/zh-tw/news/qxlbr6r.html