It means an object or material that can decompose naturally, without causing any harm. In layman’s terms, it is organic matter that can naturally degrade without destroying the planet. So, technically, it is ‘natural compostable’.
The process of biodegradation of organic matter is called composting and it involves breaking down organic matter into nutrient-rich soil. In this process, the nutrients present in the organic matter are broken down into simpler compounds by aerobic (oxygen-requiring) bacteria and then turned into compost. Compost is essentially decomposed plant matter. There are two main categories of biodegradation – aerobic and anaerobic (without oxygen). Anaerobic bacteria do not require a supply of oxygen in order to break down organic material.
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In fact, a great deal of research has been done on the biodegradation of organic matter and the importance of having biodegradables. Many environmental organizations advocate the production of biodegradable materials so that more space is not taken up by non-biodegradable wastes. These wastes may consist of plastics, toxic chemical spills, or hazardous products which are not biodegradable.
We need to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, as well as the amount of plastic that is ending up in the natural environment. Plastic can be hugely damaging to wildlife and the environment.