Society is improving its attitude toward eco-consciousness; and sustainability is a hot topic right now. And though it is a widely used term, there are still misconceptions about what it actually means.
Let’s start with the basics: biodegradability refers to the chemical dissolution of materials by bacteria or other biological means. Basically meaning, nature can break down everything its makes. So what are some common questions about biodegradability?
Is cotton biodegradable?
Good news! Since cotton is made by nature, it is 100% biodegradable.
How long does it take for cotton to degrade?
Good question; it depends. Cotton is biodegradable both anaerobically (without oxygen) and aerobically (with oxygen). When cotton breaks down via anaerobically–in landfills, for example–it happens at a much slower rate than in aerobic conditions. Either way, you can count on cotton to take care of itself.
Are synthetic fibers biodegradable?
Oil-based synthetic fibers (such as polyester, polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene) use combinations of chemicals that do not exist in nature. Because of this, nature cannot break these down. So no, synthetic fibers are not biodegradable.
So you’re saying cotton is a better choice?
Yes! Products made with cotton are both biodegradable and compostable, in all environmental conditions. Synthetic fibers are not, therefore they create more waste that cannot break itself down. Cotton is the obvious choice for any conscious consumer.
Do you have questions about cotton or biodegradability? Give us a shout! We’d love to hear from you.