There are a lot of words used to describe eco-friendly products. You'll see them in descriptions, titles, or specifications. We're here to clear those words up so you can understand exactly what you're buying.
This is a common term for eco-friendly packaging. If a product is compostable, it means that that product is able to decompose in a compost environment without leaving any toxicity in the soil. Most products labeled compostable will break down within 90 days.
A composting environment refers to either a commercial composting facility or a consumer compost bin. The main difference between these is the size: a commercial facility is much larger than a consumer or backyard compost bin. They both produce similar soil but commercial composting facilities tend to break things down more quickly because of their size.
While compostable products must break down quickly, biodegradable products can break down slower. They will still break down completely. This means they won't leave any toxins in the soil. A lot more products are labeled biodegradable rather than compostable because it's less stringent. Being biodegradable just means that eventually, the product will break down.
Recycling is probably the most common of these terms. To recycle is to convert waste into new materials. If something is recyclable, it can be converted into something new when you're done using it. This is usually done at a recycling center or plant. A lot of products that don't biodegrade are recyclable because of their added resilience. A lot of plastic and metal is easily recycled. If you're planning on recycling something, you do need to clean it first. Food isn't recyclable.
Post-consumer material is the result of recycling. When you recycle, it's made into other products, now labeled as post-consumer products. All this means is that someone has previously used the materials in your product and they've been processed to be a new product.
Eco-friendly products are a great way to help the earth in your shop.