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Understanding What Those Eco Words Mean!

Understanding What Those Eco Words Mean!

Since the increase in eco-friendly products becoming readily available, we’ve sadly noticed a lot of companies and brands “green washing” which in other words means suggesting products are eco-friendly when that’s not technically always the case.

To make things easier, we’ve broken down all those eco words you’ll find in our catalogue so you can understand which products right for you but be assured, we’ve only included products we believe are eco-friendly!


BiodegradableBiodegradable means something that will break down when exposed to living things such as bacteria and fungi. Technically, most things are biodegradable, even plastic!

However, if you see a product being advertised as biodegradable you can assume the product will break down quicker than traditional plastic (although always double check with the supplier!)

Please be aware that if some biodegradable plastics (such as biodegradable bin bags) end up at the landfill, they will release methane, a greenhouse gas with a warming capacity 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

DegradableA plastic product that has had chemicals added to it to help the product break down into micro plastics quicker than usual. Unlike biodegradable plastic, degradable plastic will break down in a landfill without producing harmful greenhouse gases.

Oxo-Biodegradable/Oxo-DegradableA conventional plastic mixed with a chemical addictive in order to create micro-plastics.Unlike biodegradable and degradable plastics, these products do not break down at molecular or polymer level.

Compostable or Compostable BiodegradableA product made from plant based materials that will, when sent to a commercial composting facility, break down to create compost.

Bio-PlasticsA type of biodegradable plastic derived from biological substances rather than petroleum.

PLAPolylactic acid (PLA) is a product made from plant based materials such as corn starch which will break down to create compost if in the correct conditions.  

CPLAPolylactide aliphatic copolymer (CPLA) is a product made of plant based materials that are compostable in the right conditions, however CPLA is stronger and more heat resistant that PLA.

BagasseA material made from recycled sugarcane, a renewable resource. It is completely compostable in the right conditions.

Bagasse is great for hot food as it allows condensation to escape yet still keep the food hot. You can put it in the microwave and fridge too!

BambooNot just a panda’s favourite food, bamboo grows at one of the quickest rates in the world! It’s naturally strong, hard and water-resistant making it a great material.

Renewable ResourcesA natural resource that can be used repeatedly and replaced naturally such as wind, coal, water, sunlight and plants.


RecyclableInstead of going to the landfill, you can recycle this product to create something else.  

Re-usableInstead of throwing the product away, it can be used over and over again.

Compost / CompostableSomething that will turn into a fertiliser for growing plants.

LandfillAlso known as a “tip”.A place when rubbish and waste is buried.

Commercial or Industrial Composting & Commercial or Industrial Compost FacilityA place where food waste and compostable products can be sent to be made into compost correctly. Most compostable products will need to go here to be made into compost.


Sustainable and sustainabilityIn environmental terms, sustainable and sustainability is used to define something that will not be harmful and will support long term eco-friendly benefits.   

Carbon FootprintThe volume of carbon dioxide released into the air as a result of someone or something.

Eco-ConsciousHaving an awareness and knowledge of the negative or positive effects your individual actions have on the planet.

Eco-FriendlyUsually used to describe a product, process or action that has a positive effect or on the environment in some way.

Greenhouse Gas – A gas that absorbs infrared radiation (IR) and radiates heat in all directions. The greenhouse effect is global warming caused by greenhouse gases.

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