Top Menu

General Info



Biodegradable Vs Compostable – What’s the Difference?



If an item is ‘Biodegradable,’ it will biodegrade, but the length of time it will take for this item to fully break down is not specified – It could take 1000 years for something that is ‘biodegradable’ to fully decompose.


If an item is ‘Compostable,’ it means that this item will biodegrade into nutrient-rich soil within a 180 day timeline – It will certifiably break down into soil within 8-12 weeks when commercially composted.



Why the term ‘BIODEGRADABLE’ is often misleading:




If an item is ‘Biodegradable’ it does not always mean ‘eco-friendly.’ Why?

  • It does not specify the length of time it will take an item to fully biodegrade.
  • It does not specify the conditions in which the item will biodegrade.
A piece of Styrofoam can be called ‘biodegradable’ – but unless you are provided with the timeframe we can only speculate how long it will take to fully biodegrade.




Compostable means that an item will turn into nutrient-rich soil within a 180-day timeline.

The soil that is produced helps to grow the plants which new products can be made from.

This creates a closed loop system.

Down2Earth’s entire product and packaging range are all made from renewable or recycled products and are certified compostable. This means that the used products can be organically recycled along with food waste, and will biodegrade in within the 12-week time frame when commercially composted.



Down2Earth Materials are Ireland’s compostable packaging specialists



All of the products and packaging that you see on this site are made from renewable or recycled materials that are completely compostable.
By compostable, we mean that they will turn back to soil in a short period of time (typically 8-12 weeks) when commercially composted. Down2Earth’s partnership with Vegware lies in their shared commitment to developing and supplying the most comprehensive compostable product range compliant with EN13432 (European Standard) to the Irish market. Down2Earth Materials’ core aim is make environmentally sustainable packaging practical, economical and easily implementable.


Compostable Packaging is BROWN BIN-COMPLIANT

It can be disposed of, along with food-waste in the Brown Bin.



For foodservice, compostable packaging really is best. It does not matter if the packaging is covered with ketchup or even has half a sandwich left in it – it can all go in one bin. Although the products are made of mixed materials, they are all completely compostable, meaning they all share the same recycling stream.

ECO Materials


Made from cornstarch by Natureworks LLC, as an ideal replacement for oil-based plastic in many applications. These include films, thermoformed products such as cups and deli pots as well as injection-molded products.


A proprietary combination of PLA, chalk and other biodegradable additives. CPLA is suitable for high-heat applications such as making cutlery and hot cup lids, as it can take temperatures of up to 95°C without any deformation.


This is the dry fibrous residue left after sugar cane fibre has been pressed for juice. It is ideal for producing tableware due to its inherent strength, and can be considered a tree-free paper. Being a waste material to start with means that this is a low impact option.

down2earth_papercarriersRecyled paper

All of our recycled paper products, such as napkins and paper carrier bags, are manufactured in Ireland and the UK out of 100% recycled paper pulp.


down2earth_hotcupsKraft board

We purchase Kraft board with a high-recycled content where possible.



Compostable cellophane made from sustainably sourced wood pulp by Innovia Films. Natureflex has a high oxygen barrier, making it ideal for a multitude of food packaging applications.


Compostable packaging is convenience packaging…


In organics recycling, Down2Earth products can turn into nutrient rich compost within 8-12 weeks. The compost can be used to grow more plants, creating a closed loop cycle.

Composting food packaging is much easier to recycle than it would be to recycle conventional packaging – just pop it in the BROWN BIN.

There is no need to clean the packaging as you would for high quality conventional recycling. All compostable products go into one bin together with the food waste, making it simple.


Starting a food business? Planning an event?

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

  • Find the ideal food waste recycling services for your cafe or restaurant, office, school, hospital or event.
  • We can help you reduce waste disposal costs.
  • We provide useful ideas and tips for correct waste disposal.
  • We can provide you with an eco audit detailing how much carbon you saved as how much packaging was potentially diverted from Landfill.