While often use “biodegradable” and “compostable interchangeably, they mean two different things.The term biodegradable only indicates that something can be broken down by bacteria or other living organisms. Compostable means that something can be broken down into organic matter or non-toxic natural elements.
So, while compostable products are biodegradable, not all biodegradable products are compostable.
Most materials, including regular plastic,will biodegrade when given enough time a product labeled biodegradable without further details often paints a misleading image for the consumer.
Another area of confusion is the difference between oxo-degradable and biodegradable products. Oxo-degradable is an entirely separate category from biodegradable since they are not produced with biodegradable materials but
instead are plastic that’s been mixed with an additive to break down the product.
This can be more harmful than conventional plastic since oxo-biodegradables allow plastics to break down quicker, but into microplastics.
Microplastics are fragments of the larger piece of plastic and are
much harder to clean up than whole pieces of plastic; just imagine trying to scoop up millions of tiny pieces of plastic as opposed to a single plastic bag. Microplastics are also a direct threat to humans as it inevitably ends up in the food and water that we ingest.