What are the differences between a compostable and biodegradable paper bag?

Buying ethical products from environmentally conscious businesses is one of the biggest steps you can take when you are looking to reduce your environmental footprint. The consumer society is having a big (and largely negative) impact on the health of the planet.

The added publicity around the state of the climate has led to many companies offering compostable and biodegradable products as a means of serving customers without the sale of damaging products; but what exactly are the differences between a product like a biodegradable paper bag and a compostable paper bag.

The fundamental difference between ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’

Whilst they are often viewed as the same thing, there are a few subtle differences between a compostable paper bag and a biodegradable one. The term biodegradable refers to an item that can be broken down by bacteria in the environment in any situation. In theory, a biodegradable paper bag can be thrown away without the worry that it will last many years in the future.

A compostable paper bag is slightly different. Whilst the process for composting is usually shorter than biodegrading, for a paper bag to compost it requires some specific set conditions. For example, the temperature and humidity need to be acceptable for the composting process to take place.

The faster period of decomposition in compostable bags is often viewed as a big benefit as the term, ‘biodegradable’ only means that the bag will break down at some point, that period could be anything from a few months to thousands of years.

What are the benefits of biodegradable and compostable paper bags?

The differences between the two types of bags are worth noting as both of them come with benefits over the other. For example, compostable bags usually do not produce any toxins as they break down into natural materials. On the flip side, biodegradable bags are usually stronger and provide a better finish. The benefits of both products have to be considered when choosing the option for your business.

Where can my business by biodegradable paper bags?

Biodegradable bags have benefits for both the environment and potentially, your marketing. Research suggests that one of the best ways you can improve the attractiveness of your brand for customers. With the explosion of internet businesses, there are now plenty of biodegradable paper bag suppliers on the market. Make sure you go with a provider that can also offer you good printing and styling options.