What is the difference between compostable and degradable?

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What is the difference between compostable and degradable?

All paper cups labeled “biodegradable” are degradable. And all compostable paper cups are biodegradable. But not all degradable paper cups are compostable or biodegradable. It may confuse our clients. It’s hard to know the difference, so you might think that you’re doing something eco when you're not.


What is the difference between compostable and degradable?

What are the advantages of compostable paper cup?

How to deal with a compostable paper cup?


What is the difference between compostable and degradable?

Degradable paper cups are petroleum based and have other chemicals including heavy metals added. These degradable paper cups break down eventually, that’s what “degrade” means. All paper cups are degradable, either because they’re intentionally broken down or through the natural degradation of the material, which could take hundreds of years. When a label says “degradable,” there’s really no telling how long the paper cup sticks around after you throw it away.

Are degradable paper cups a greener alternative to regular paper cups? Unfortunately, experts say they’re probably just as bad for the planet. Degradable paper cups just break down into millions of tiny pieces of paper, which makes them harder to remove from the environment and easier for animals to ingest. Some of the “microplastics” left behind enter the food chain via smaller species like plankton, fish, and birds, eventually making their way into human bellies. Degradable paper cups go into the general waste bin, which are not suitable for compost bins or worm farms. Degradable paper cups are recycled, but not biodegradable.

Compostable paper cups are made from renewable raw materials like corn starch and soy protein. Bacteria digest compostable paper cups and turn into compost. A compostable paper cup must meet certain requirements to earn its label. For example, compostable paper cup must biodegrade within a specific time frame. It can’t leach heavy metals or other harmful residue, can’t be toxic to worms, and must be able to support plant life. Hold water or drink in compostable paper cup. When it’s full, dump the compostable paper cup into your home compost bin or send it to a local composting facility. Don’t put compostable paper cup in the general waste bin, because it won’t as compost well in landfill.


What are the advantages of compostable paper cup?

Avoiding plastic: Today, environmentalists are encouraging the public to use green products everywhere they go, instead of just at home. At the same time, more food and beverage container companies are finding unique ways to create eco-friendly dishes and utensils. Foodservice industries that serve drinks to customers can make a huge impact toward protecting the environment by switching over to compostable paper cups rather than using plastic containers.

Protecting health: The public is also aware that compostable paper cups protect the environment in other ways besides reducing trash in landfills. Food and beverage containers made from compostable materials do not contain petroleum products that are toxic to plants and animals. Petroleum is an expensive ingredient used to make plastic utensils and plates that increase the overall price of a beverage or food sold in a restaurant. Recent studies have revealed that the chemicals in plastics leach into beverages and foods before entering the human body during consumption.

Increasing business: By implementing compostable paper cups into your inventory for drink containers, you will be not only helping the environment, but also creating a great impression for your business and its consumers. Modern consumers are frequently choosing to buy products at businesses that care about the earth’s environment. Selling foods and beverages in containers made from natural materials such as sugarcane, paperboard, or plant fibers is an excellent way to increase a business’s customer base.


How to deal with a compostable paper cup?

The new route that is being adopted is to use either waste sugar cane pulp, or bamboo, to make compostable paper cups. Making the compostable paper cups using either of these products is a giant leap forward environmentally as no trees are used in the making of the cupboard that is necessary to make a paper cup. Replacing the inner lining of PE in the cup with PLA, which is a starch product derived from cereals, or doing away completely with the inner lining now makes 100% compostable paper cups.

If you going to just put the cup in your rubbish bin, the chances are it’s going to end up in a landfill with all the other items, possibly with thousands of tons of other rubbish on top of it. You might as well buy normal paper cups as no cup is going to degrade under these circumstances, even if the greenest cup in the world. So you have to make sure the recycling path you choose does what compostable paper cup says, so as to ensure that compostable paper cups are processed correctly. Having a compostable paper cup means that you can advertise this to your customers that all they have to do is put it in the “green bin” or food recycling bin. Let your recycling company know about your efforts, so the compostable paper cups end up in the compostable waste and if this is done, your waste compostable paper cup in the green bin will be natural.


Learn more something about compostable paper cups can know the differences between compostable and degradable paper cups and how to deal with a compostable paper cup. If you want to buy high-quality compostable paper cups with reasonable price, ANBAO PAPER PRODUCTS CO., LTD. can help you to open up a further and larger market, it is wise to choose us as your business partner.

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