COMPOSTING VS. BIODEGRADATION
Many people have been told inconsistent definitions of what compostable and biodegradable means. The FTC Green Guidelines are a great place to equip yourself with anti-greenwashing ammunition, but here's our explanation of home compostable (and how to dispose of HCM01 pre-roll tubes correctly).
Composting, "is a biological degradation process in which microorganisms transform organic materials into a soil-like material (called compost) under controlled conditions... The difference between natural decay and composting is that during the composting process, people control the conditions under which the decomposition takes place."
In composting at home, one would use organic materials (yard trimmings, coffee grounds, non-animal food scraps, pet bedding, etc.) to control the degradation in an aerated, substantiated environment -such as a compost heap or barrel- to turn the organic matter into usable fertilizer.
Home composting, in essence, is controlled natural biodegradation. It ensures that the compost pile receives sufficient aeration and turnover to aid the biodegradation process in a shorter timeframe than on its own. Industrial compostable products require a more controlled and harsh environment to break down that includes constant extreme heat, moisture, and aeration. Products that are certified compostable by the ASTM D6400 and TUV 13432 fall under this category, and will not break down in an adequate timeframe outside of a commercial compost facility.