Degradable, Biodegradable and Compostable. What are the difference?

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Three terms. Biodegradable, Degradable and Compostable products.

Are they the same? You may hear some people say their products are biodegradable, and on another time, they will say that their products are compostable. Some will also say that their products are easily degradable. Are they really the same? If they are not, what do they really mean?

Degradable: If a product is made to be degradable, it means that the product will be degraded into smaller particles in the soil. Degradable materials used a special chemical to aid their degradation and will take longer than bio-degradable materials. If not disposed properly, they may take a long time as long as non-degradable materials. An example of degradable product is product made from synthetic materials.

Biodegradable: If a product is made to be biodegradable, it means that the materials used for the product are made from plant or animal-based microorganisms. The materials can break down easily in the soil as long as they have favourable conditions that facilitates the degradation process. Since their degradation process is aided with microorganism, they are called biodegradable. The process for biodegradation takes months to occur. An example of biodegradable product is paper straw, which is coincidentally one of Can Jaya’s product.

Compostable: If a product is made to be compostable, it means that the compost must help to enhance soil quality with non-toxic products. It is known that composting is an accelerated form of biodegradation as it occurs within weeks compared to biodegradable process that takes months to biodegrade. An example of compostable product includes unbleached tissue paper or food such as fruits and vegetables.

At Can Jaya we always try to ensure that our products are environmentally friendly and good for the Earth. We are concerned about our Earth as much as you do, thus we produce paper canisters and paper straw as our effort to help reduce pollution and save the environment. Head on down to our site at to explore more about our range of products. Contact us for more details at

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