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What is the difference between “Compostable” and “Biodegradable”?
Last Updated: 12/23/2015

Compostable and biodegradable are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

Compostable:
Meets D6400 composting standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM): Under a managed composting program, the product must:

1) break down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate similar to paper

2) disintegrate into small pieces within 90 days, so that the original product is not visually distinguishable in the compost, and

3) leave no toxic residue.

Biodegradable:
Capable of disintegration by biological means; typically, composed of organic matter that can be readily decomposed by a wide variety of microorganisms.



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