The marketing confusion surrounding the intermingling of the terms ‘degradable’ vs. ‘biodegradable’ is no accident. It is a strategic omission of the factual differences in how a plastic or plastic alternative product breaks down into either smaller parts, or truly biodegrades into natural compounds.
Products labelled as “degradable” are more commonly oxo-degradable products which break traditional plastic polymers into micro plastics. The REearthable® product does not generate micro plastics.
The very distinct difference in layman’s terms is that a degradable plastic takes its original compound (a plastic polymer), and continues to break it down into smaller and smaller and smaller pieces. Hence, the plastic polymer still exists. Over time these pieces can break down into micro pieces (commonly termed as micro plastics) that can become smaller than is visible to the human eye. In some cases (depending on the product), it is then broken down and consumed by microorganisms (such as bacteria and fungi), or wildlife such as fish. As every living organism consumes both bacteria and fungi (are you a yogurt or mushroom lover?), it does not solve the plastic problem, it merely makes it less evident by transferring those polymers to the organism feeding off of it. Degradable does not solve the hundreds or thousands of years issue we care about when it comes to plastic waste.
Alternatives such as the REearthable® material biodegrades to its compounded material state with the help of microorganisms therefore not consuming micro plastics based on our patented and proprietary mix of ingredients. Our product is made primarily of limestone sourced from the earth and available in abundance found in thousands of miles of abandoned rock quarries, yet still retains all the benefits and attributes making it suitable for food containers, toys or anything plastic that may end up in a landfill or tossed, irresponsibly, on the ground.
Our patented material has been verified by a 3rd Party Testing laboratory specializing in degradable and biodegradable products. Testing adhered to the ASTM D5511 STANDARDS for Biodegradation of plastic and plastic alternative products.
Test results show that our product biodegrades in 90-120 days or at about the same rate as a banana peel in both an aerobic (exposure to oxygen such as thrown on the ground) and anaerobic environment (little or no oxygen such as a stacked landfill of junk and plastic).
TEST TYPE: ASTM D5511 for Biodegradation
(ASTM D5511 follows the procedure that requires a material to be placed in a high-solids anaerobic digester for the production of digestive from municipal solid waste, which then can be measured and determines the rate and degree of anaerobic biodegradability of plastic materials).
THIRD PARTY TEST CENTER: Eden Research Laboratory
METHODOLOGY: Susceptibility to anaerobiosis and aerobiosis to determine biodegradability under land-fill and compostable conditions respectively. Measuring carbon dioxide and methane gas release. The limestone material appears to biodegrade only slightly slower (3-4 months) when compared to pure cellulose* (2 months) under anaerobic conditions.
TEST RESULTS: Biodegrades in 90 days