The Definitive Guide to Biodegradable and Recyclable

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First things first – here is a simple guide to understanding what is bio-degradable and what is not:

Type Bio-degradable Re-cyclable
Hemp/ Cotton/ Canvas Yes Yes, Closed-loop
Jute (mostly used in gunny sacks) Yes Yes, Closed-loop
Plastic coated Jute (mostly used in bags) Partially Partially, Open-loop, High-cost
Synthetic Textiles No Partially, Open-loop, High-cost
Nonwoven fabric, Tyvek, etc No Partially, Open-loop, High-cost


Now that you have been enlightened 😊 Lets quickly also recap the definitions:

Bio-degradable: capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms and thereby avoiding pollution. In other words, it means an item that will break down into natural materials in the environment on its own.

Re-cyclable: A material will be called re-cyclable when recycling of a material would produce a fresh supply of the same material. This means paper waste is converted back to paper, as an example. Technically, recycling can be done in two ways, open-loop and closed-loop. When you can recycle a product back into the same or similar product, it is considered as closed-loop. When recycling a product produces material or products other than the original product, it is considered as open-loop. In most cases, plastic recycling does not produce plastic and hence it is considered open-loop.

Now you are fully equipped to make a decision yourself when someone claims their product is biodegradable or recyclable!

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