Examples of Biodegradable Products

Polystyrene is not biodegradable.
Polystyrene is not biodegradable. (Image: styrofoam business image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com)

Biodegradable items are useful in reducing the amount of waste in landfills. The term biodegradable means that the product will break down and return to the environment quickly, as opposed to items like polystyrene, which can take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Using biodegradable products is a simple but effective way to help the environment.

Food Products

Many food products are biodegradable. While meat will create mold and mildew, you can place vegetable and fruit products like banana peels, coffee grounds, tea bags and apple cores into a compost bin, where they biodegrade over a few months. The result is a nutrient-rich soil, which makes composting a beneficial type of biodegrading process for gardeners.


Some types of tableware, including cups, bowls, plates, spoons, forks and knives, are made to be biodegradable or usable in compost. This enables you to use disposable tableware items without causing lasting damage to the environment. Once in a landfill, these tableware pieces return to the environment quickly and without releasing harmful chemicals.

Packing Materials

Many packing materials, such as boxes, tape and fillers to protect shipped items, are made to be biodegradable. Cardboard and other items are designed to break down quickly and without releasing harmful substances. This helps individuals who are moving, shipping items for sale or making purchases reduce the impact of the packing materials on the environment. Although these items may cost more, their total cost in terms of environmental impact is significantly lower.

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