What Does Biodegradable Mean?

April 14, 2017

If you're like me and love the new Deodorant Stick, you've probably been wondering what's up with the paper packaging. While Meow Meow Tweet is known for their effective, vegan deodorants in adorable glass jars, this new stick is made with a sturdy paper that's actually biodegradable. It offers the convenience of a deodorant stick without the wasteful plastic packaging.

But what does biodegradable mean? What should you do with the package once you've finished your deodorant? Does it really help the environment? If you're like me, you're always full of questions, so today I'm going to walk you through everything you need to know about biodegradable packaging.  

What Does Biodegradable Mean?

If something is biodegradable, it means that the material can be consumed by micro-organisms like bacteria or fungi. These helpful organisms actually get nutrients from the biodegradable matter, so instead of sitting in a landfill forever, the material will be put to use.

This can take some time depending on the material, as well as light, water, and oxygen levels. What's important is that when something is biodegradable, it doesn't leave any harmful materials behind, nor does it take up landfill space.

What is the Difference Between Biodegradable and Compostable?

While similar, these terms are different. When something is biodegradable, it disintegrates into products like water and carbon dioxide as the micro-organisms do their thing. When something is compostable, it breaks down into a product that's beneficial for the soil. You can compost in your backyard and use the resulting product to help your plants thrive.

What Do You Do With Biodegradable Packaging?

While you could technically throw your biodegradable packages away with your regular trash, it's important to remember that landfills lack the beneficial micro-organisms that will break down the package, meaning that your package won't be properly broken down.

To reduce your landfill waste and take advantage of biodegradable packaging, I recommend throwing your biodegradable Deodorant Stick in your compost pile. If you don't have one, (you should totally start, it's a great way to feed your garden and reduce waste!) you could even toss it in your garden and watch it break down over the next several months.  

How Does Biodegradable Packaging Help the Environment?

By reducing the amount of landfill waste, you're reducing the amount of greenhouse gases, like nitrous oxide and methane, that are produced. These gases contribute to global warming. So when you opt for a Deodorant Stick in biodegradable packaging, you're reducing your impact on the environment! How cool is that?

Sarah Price is a green beauty and self care writer with an obsession with holistic skincare. She writes about natural beauty, DIY recipes, self care tips, and more on her self titled blog.

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