Which products are biodegradable or compostable?

First, it’s important to note the distinction between the terms biodegradable and compostable.

  • Biogdegradable is the more general term of the two. If a material is biodegradable, it will break down in nature as it’s consumed by living organisms over an undetermined amount of time. In most cases, paper is the more biodegradable option for packaging. But most often, the ideal afterlife for paper is recycling so that it gets as long of a lifecycle as possible. At the end of paper’s lifecycle, it’s often separated for compost in the recycling process.
  • Compostable has a more technical, concrete definition. If a material is compostable, it biodegrades within a certain amount of time, without leaving any toxic residue — usually up to 120 days. If a product is labeled compostable, it can’t be disposed of in a recycling bin.

All uncoated papers are compostable and biodegradable, but should be recycled unless the fibers are too short or the paper is soiled. In those cases, composting is preferred. In the Lumi product catalog, tissue paper is the only paper product where composting is preferred because the fibers are short.

No plastic products are biodegradable or compostable unless otherwise noted. If you’re interested in compostable of biodegradable plastics, contact us.


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