Biodegradable, degradable and compostable bags

Biodegradable bags

Where to buy good quality biodegradable bags

Top search results for biodegradable bags. Found 1 UK supplier:

"Polybags - manufacturers of environmental bags "
Buy online. FREE delivery for UK. We stock PolyBio starch bags, home use Compobags and wrapping sheet, biodegradabale clear bags, - all sizes and styles of packaging.
Polybags - biodegradable bags

Why Degradable or Biodegradable bags/film?

Biodegradation is the process by which organic substances are broken down by the enzymes produced by living organisms.
"Conventional plastics do not break down. Litter and landfill waste may take years to degrade. Another problem with ordinary plastics is that anything contained within them may not reach their full degradation potential. This results in a needless waste of valuable landfill space."
Source biodegradable bags at

Based on the material bioplastics can take different length of times to totally compost but usually 60% biodegradate within 90 to 180 days. It is also important to know the differences between degradable, biodegradable and compostable.


"Capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site as part of an available program, such that the plastic is not visually distinguishable and breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable materials (e.g. cellulose). and leaves no toxic residue."
American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM).

So in order for a plastic to be called compostable it needs to meet three rules:

  1. It needs to be albe to biodegrade therefore it needs break down into carbon dioxide, water, biomass at the same rate as cellulose (paper).
  2. The material has to disintegrate - be indistinguishable in the compost.
  3. Eco-toxicity - the biodegradation does not produce any toxic material and the compost can support plant growth.

Biodegradable Plastic

Biodegradable Plastic is plastic which can be chemically degraded via natural effectors such as soil bacteria, weather, plants or animals. Note, that there is no requirement for leaving "no toxic residue", and as well as no requirement for the time it needs to take to biodegrade.

Degradable Plastic

By definition 'Degradable Plastic' means a plastic film containing a controlled percentage of an appropriate non-toxic, non-tinting additive, which will enable the plastic film to totally degrade when exposed to aerobic or anaerobic conditions, including when disposed in a landfill or other regulated dumping area, and within such period of time as specified.

A plastic therefore may be degradable but not biodegradable or it may be biodegradable but not compostable (that is, it breaks down too slowly to be called compostable or leaves toxic residue).

Biodegradable or Biodegradeable?

It is very common to misspell biodegradable as biodegradeable (please take note yourself as some of our domains are actually misspelt!) and the same happens with degradable as degradeable. In fact when written down the word biodegradable often looks like an incorrect spelling and has been known to be corrected to biodegradeable by some overzealous and missinformed editors. So, now you know if someone tells you otherwise stick out your guns!

For more about environmental please visit biodegradable bags at