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Home Common Questions

Q: What is the difference between compostable, biodegradable and degradable plastic?

A: Biodegradable plastic will degrade as a result of bacterial activity. In order to also be classified compostable, the degradation must meet certain specified criteria such as rate biodegradation, maximum residue of material left at a specific point in time and a requirement for the material to have no harmful impact on the final compost or the composting process. All compostable plastic is therefore also biodegradable. The standard for compostable plastic used is the European standard EN-13432. For example, TDC caddy liners are a bio-degradable plastic manufactured from corn starch.
Degradable plastics are not compostable. Most of the products using the labelDegradable plastic, degrade as result of physical and chemical impact (fracture into smaller pieces of plastic). They are oil based products with special additives that assist their 'fragmentation'. Biological activity is not a significant part of the degradation of these products, or the process is too slow to earn the classification Biodegradable orCompostable (the biological degradation will typically take many years).
Bags like these claiming to be 100% degradable cannot be used in your green wheelie bin as they are not compostable. Try to avoid using these bags if possible, by using a re-usable bag when shopping. They can be recycled at certain 'plastic bag' recycling collection points (found at some supermarkets), or use them as bin liners for you landfill rubbish, instead of buying black bin liners.

Q. Which type of bags can I use in my green wheelie bin for composting?

A. You can only put compostable bags in your green wheelie bin, and they must be ones that have been approved by Teignbridge District Council and are light green in colour with dark green writing. Just because some bags say 'degradable' and 'bio-degradable' does not mean they are compostable. There are so many different types of bags on the market, all claiming different things, some of which are not proven or the statement can be misleading.
We ensure a high level of compliance monitoring of the green bins is maintained so that we can make sure that we are producing good quality compost with minimal contamination. For more info about TDC caddy liners (shown below) and for other TDC approved caddy liners, see links on the right of the page.

Q: Where is PLA from?

A: Poly(lactic acid) or polylactide (PLA) is a biodegradable thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch (in the United States), tapioca roots, chips or starch (mostly in Asia), or sugarcane (in the rest of the world).

Q: Does PLA finished product contain BPA?

A: Of couse not.The PLA raw material is from plant,and we will not add any chemical additives in the process of machining. Keep it eco-friendly and non-toxic is our principle.

Q: How long does it take to degradation of PLA?

A: Standard degradation time is 180 days under industrial composting conditions.

Q: What will PLA become after degradation?

A: Carbon dioxide and water.

Q: Will it disappear on the normal use?

A: No, definitely not. PLA just can be degradation under composting conditions.The life time of PLA products will be the same as the other plastic products.

Q: How to deal with the waste of PLA products?

A: 1.Composting; 2.Recycling; 3.Incineration; 4.Landfill