Plastic waste end up in landfills every day. Many of them also get carried into seas and oceans, endangering marine life. Businesses either switched to reusable packaging or used biodegradable plastic to address this problem.
Biodegradable plastic became common fast. In 2019, its global market was valued at $1.9 billion. It is expected to reach $4.2 billion in 2027, which a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3% from 2020 to 2027.
But aside from using such plastic, businesses, especially those in the retail sector, should explore other strategies. Selling biodegradable products is a good idea. Many types of products can be made biodegradable. This would allow landfills to deal with less waste that could last a lifetime. Bodies of water can also be cleaner, keeping marine life safe.
What Is Biodegradable?
Biodegradable refers to any object that can be broken down by biological agents, like bacteria. A broken-down object then becomes a raw material. This creates a natural cycle of objects extracted from the earth returning to earth after their useful life.
Biodegradable is sometimes called compostable, though the terms don’t mean exactly the same thing. Compostable material is something that also breaks down naturally but leaves behind a substance called “humus.” Humus is full of nutrients and great for plants, so compost piles in homes are situated in yards or landscapes.
Therefore, all compostable materials are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable materials are compostable.
The Biodegradation Process
The beauty of biodegradable products is that they start decomposing once you throw them in the trash. Once the product gets to the dumpsite or under the soil, microorganisms will set to work. Bacteria, fungi, and other elements in the earth will break the object down, leading to its decomposition.
After decomposing, the object becomes something else. For example, decomposed sulfates become hydrogen sulfide. This new raw material can be then used to make other products.
Potential Danger to the Environment
Biodegradable products aren’t automatically eco-friendly. That’s because certain things can turn into toxic substances after decomposing. For example, methane emission from anaerobic fermentation may lead to landfill gas production. This can adversely affect the climate if not managed by professional waste handlers.
Top-selling Biodegradable Products
Despite its environmental risks, biodegradable products are still way safer for the earth than non-biodegradable ones. The key is in waste management. Both businesses and consumers are responsible for ensuring that all biodegradable products end up in the proper waste management facilities.
That said, here are the top-selling biodegradable products that can give your startup an advantage:
Rubber products are essential in our daily lives. They have uses in almost everything, from personal wellness to industrial processes. As such, manufacturers of high-quality rubber products can accommodate any industry.
Some examples of best-selling rubber products include latex gloves, shoes, rubber bands, tires, and car parts. However, those products should be made of natural rubber. Otherwise, they may not be biodegradable.
Natural rubber comes from the rubber tree, which produces latex. Only organic latex can biodegrade. Synthetic latex or blended latex cannot. They are made with petrochemicals that can also be harmful to the environment.
Bond paper, art paper, newspaper, and paper towels are everyday biodegradable products. In particular, the ones in the household category have a growing market. This brings us to our next biodegradable item.
Biodegradable Household Products
Because of the growing market for biodegradable household products, companies have come up with biodegradable dish soaps, dishwashing detergents, and laundry detergents. Even diapers, pet waste bags, and trash bags now have biodegradable varieties.
Disposable or Reusable Tableware
Paper cups, paper plates, and bamboo utensils are constantly in demand as well, especially in workplaces. Many organizations will surely buy them for parties and celebrations this holiday season.
To help homeowners make mulch, offer biodegradable lawn waste bags. It can be filled with weeds, grass, plant clippings, and food leftovers. That way, the bag can break down along with the mulch. Complement your product with plant-based pesticides or organic fertilizers.
Cotton and wool are two examples of natural fabrics that break down fast. Leather, although natural, takes 25 to 40 years to break down, so it’s not the most eco-friendly. On the other hand, cotton rags break down in one to five months, and wool socks one to five years.
Biodegradable products aren’t just a blessing to dumpsites but also cleaner to produce because they don’t release toxins. They are also safe for atopic consumers because they do not contain allergens. And most importantly, they require less energy to recycle. If all products in the world can be made biodegradable, the future will definitely see fewer hurricanes and droughts.