Is biodegradable the same as compostable? [Chilliwack Composting]

August 28, 2017



But let’s talk about why.


We hear this question regularly, especially when it comes to sorting plastic. While both are designed to break down, they are different. And the confusion around them causes all sorts of problems for waste disposal.


Simply put, biodegradable products do not belong in your compost.



What does biodegradable mean?

Breaks down into plastic particles


Biodegradable materials were invented as a way to curb the buildup of waste in landfills. They are designed to break down into smaller particles over time. In the end, there’s nothing left to be recycled.






What does compostable mean?

Breaks down into nutrients for soil


We know a thing or two about compost. Compostable means it will break down quickly in a controlled composting facility for future use in fertilizers.



Why does it?

Because what works in one bin doesn’t work in the other. So when that compostable bag accidentally ends up in the trash, and you think, “at least it’ll still break down,” think again.

  • A biodegradable bag will not compost. It breaks down into smaller particles, but the plastic remains in the compost.

  • A compostable bag will not compost in the landfill. It needs the hot, controlled environment provided by a compost facility to break it down into nutrient-rich soil.

  • A biodegradable bag is also bad news for recycling, so it’s better to just avoid ‘em.

What’s the solution?

Effective waste management starts and ends with the consumer.


Still have questions? Get in touch, we’d love to answer them.

Here are 2 great sites where the differences are futher illustrated:



Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

Basics of Worm Composting

July 5, 2018

Please reload

Recent Posts

August 15, 2017

Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square


  • Facebook Social Icon

© 2019 True West Compost Company | Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Hope, Langley, Fraser Valley
True West Compost offers compostable organics recycling for Fraser Valley businesses and strata