When a product can 'degrade' naturally e.g. consumed by micro-organisms and returns to compounds found naturally.
*Not to be confused with 'compostable'.
When a product requires a controlled environment in order to degrade (which typically takes 8 to 12 weeks), such as an industrial composting facility where temperature, light and humidity can be regulated. Compostability can be accredited by EN13432, ASTM 6868 or ASTM 6400.
Please note: 'Biodegradable' products can be composted, but 'compostable' products will not necessarily biodegrade!
A product that can be used again, without any alteration to its form e.g. a carrier bag.
A product that can be re-processed in order to produce a raw material, which can be used in the manufacture of completely new products.
The type, or amount, of recycled material that has been used in the manufacture of a product.
Post-Consumer Fibre (PCF)
Paper fibre that can be used for the manufacture of new products, which has been collected, processed and turned into a raw material after a consumer has already used it e.g. newspapers, office paper & paper cups.
Polylactic Acid (PLA)
A plant based resin commonly derived from corn starch, but can also be derived from maize, sugar or wheat. PLA can be used to make clear tumblers, as well as being used in a coating on paper cups. PLA is a compostable material, requiring an industrial composting facility in which to degrade.
Crystalline Polylactic Acid (CPLA)
A crystalline form of PLA, described above, which has a high heat resistance and so is ideal for hot cup lids and cutlery.