Biodegradable refers to the ability of materials to break down and return to nature. In order for products or packaging materials to qualify as biodegradable, they must completely break down and decompose into natural elements within a short time after disposal.
Biodegradable plastics are made from all-natural plant materials. These can include corn, sugar cane, bamboo and other plant matter.
Items simply listed as biodegradable cannot be placed in your home compost or green waste bin, nor should biodegradable bags be used to collect your organic waste for composting.
For an item to be considered compostable, it must break down into organic materials that can offer nutrients to the soil and plants around it. These items have been certified to become usable compost in a safe and timely manner in an appropriate composting facility or home compost pile. Please see individual product descriptions for details of relevant certification bodies.
When you can't refuse or reuse, recycling is the next best thing. These products are easily able to be recycled, generally using your kerbside recycling bin. See individual product descriptions for details and check with your local council for guidance on how to ensure this resource doesn't go to waste.