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How Are Compostable Bags Different from Biodegradable Bags?

How Are Compostable Bags Different from Biodegradable Bags?

Jul 30,2023
biodegradable vs compostable bags
Compostable bags are what everyone is talking about, but not everyone knows the characteristics of these bags, do you know how to distinguish them from others such as biodegradable bags?

When we talk about compostable bags, we think of solutions to the pollution caused by plastic bags. But this is an ecological option with very specific characteristics, do you want to know about them?


The bags are made from renewable plant resources, which means that the raw material of traditional plastic bags is converted into bioplastic.

This leads to an exponential reduction in the biodegradation process: while traditional plastic bags take about 450 years to decompose naturally, compostable plastic bags can complete this process in just 6 months.

The Meaning of Compostable

When we talk about the term "compostable," we mean the way plastics biodegrade, and the first thing to know is that not all plastics undergo the same degradation process.

A product is compostable when it is able to biodegrade under physical conditions that do not normally occur in the natural environment, meaning that compostability is a human process.

This process requires high humidity, high temperature, and a lot of oxygen. To better understand this with an example, a compostable bag degrades at the same rate as the organic matter it contains.

The Difference Between Compostable Bags and Biodegradable Bags

The degradation process of compostable bags is different from that of biodegradable bags. The fundamental difference is that, unlike compostable bags, biodegradable bags usually decompose in nature without the presence of human factors.

It is the degradation caused by biological processes that occur in different organisms under natural environmental conditions. Animals and plants, for example, dispose of these wastes autonomously.

Are Compostable or Biodegradable Synonymous with Bioplastics?

In contrast to plastics made from petroleum, bioplastics are plastics derived from renewable biomass sources such as fats, vegetables or oils.
There are many types of bioplastics. For example, they can be made from acids present in plants such as corn, or they can be derived from microorganisms.

By this point, we should be clear about the relationship between the term bioplastic and compostable or biodegradable: most bioplastics are biodegradable and compostable, but these two properties are not required for them to be considered bioplastics of.

Characteristics of Compostable Bags

In many cases, we have reservations about bags of this type, thinking that they will provide us with worse functionality than the usual plastic bags, but analyzing the characteristics of these bags, many prejudices can be cast aside

- Flexibility

- Revolt

- Impermeability

- Humidity resistant

In addition to these physical properties, the social advantages of using compostable bags are also the basis for considering their use:

- They have become an important tool in promoting environmental awareness

- They are ideal substitutes for plastic bags used in daily life

- They reduce environmental pollution both globally and in specific locations such as streets, beaches and rivers

- They can improve sanitation in specific areas

How to Recycle These Bags

Once you've decided on compostable bags, make sure to recycle them properly.

This is done in an 'organic only' bin, so the bag will be another element that gets turned into compost, a product obtained from organic material going through an oxidation process (composting).

If no such container is available, the compostable bag should be disposed of in the "leftover" bin, thus avoiding the use of metal, paper, plastic or glass containers.

How Is Compostable Packaging Regulated?

There is a standard for the compostability of different types of packaging and this framework is defined by the following requirements:

1. Composition control to exclude environmentally harmful elements such as heavy materials

2. Assess whether 90% degradation occurs within 6 months

3. Determine the maximum size (less than two square meters)

4. Determine whether the biological waste is suitable for composting

If you're determined to make the move to compostable bags, at TORISE we offer a wide variety of compostable and biodegradable products to suit each customer's aesthetic and functional needs.

TORISE, as a professional custom bioplastics manufacturer, is committed to producing modified resins, custom compostable bags and other environmentally friendly alternatives to provide you with high-quality products. Our manufacturing capabilities include a wide variety of products: compounded resins, shopping bags, trash bags, dog poop bags, produce bags, garment bags, delivery bags, gloves, aprons, zip lock bags, cutlery, PLA cups and cutlery. All of our products have international authoritative certifications such as EN13432 (Din Certco), OK Compost, OK Compost HOME (TUV Austria), ASTM D6400 (BPI), AS4736 and AS5810 (ABA).

From our raw materials, to inks, to finished products, you can be confident that anything we make will break down in the process and won't harm the environment! Contact us if you're interested in purchasing compostable bags and other environmentally friendly alternatives.
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