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Biodegradable products break down through the action of a naturally occurring microorganism, such as bacteria, fungi etc. over a period of time. These products are usually made from plant or animal sources. Examples of biodegradable include paper, vegetable scraps and some forms of plastics made from ingredients such as corn starch.
For products to be considered as compostable, it must be able to break down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass at the same rate as paper. It also needs to look like compost, should not produce any toxic material and should be able to support plant life. Compostable items are made from plant materials such as corn, potato, cellulose, soy and sugar.
Green products are those that have less of an impact on the environment or are less detrimental to human health compared to the traditional products. Green products might be formed or partially formed from recycled components, be manufactured in a more energy-conservative way, or be supplied to the market with less packaging.
When a product is made with planet material, it means just that. Scientists are developing products where instead of using harmful chemicals they are incorporating plant materials. When creating a product with plant material, it helps the product eventually compost and go back to where it began, in the ground.
Post-consumer material is an end product that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and would otherwise have been disposed of as a solid waste. When a product has this label it means it was created with post-consumer recycled content.
When a product is said to be recyclable it qualifies to be processed then recreated into a new, recycled product. Reusing products to create new products reduces the harm that is put on our environment while making everyday products.
If a product is said to be renewable or made from renewable resources it means that during the process of production, renewable resources are being utilize to create a new product. Renewable resources can be easily replaced after they are used. For example, sunlight, wind, beef, corn, and water.