What’s the difference between degradable, biodegradable, and compostable bags?…and which bin should I use or place them in?

Plastic, Compostable & Biodegradable Bags


Degradable bags are made from plastic with other chemicals added (including heavy metals) that cause the plastic to break down and disintegrate over time when exposed to sunlight and heat. If degradable bags are released into our environment they become quite problematic as they break down into hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic. Animals can consume the smaller pieces of plastic more readily than they would if the bags were still whole. It is also much more difficult to remove hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic from the environment than it is to remove a single bag.


Like degradable bags, biodegradable are often still plastic bags that have microorganisms added to break down the plastic.

Which bin? Biodegradable bags should only be used or placed into your general waste bin.


Compostable bags are made of natural plant starch, and do not produce any toxic material. Compostable bags break down readily in a composting system through microbial activity to form compost.

In order to be classified as compostable they must meet the Australian Standard for compostability.

Commercially compostable, means that they can be composted through a composting facility, such as Jeffries. These products will display a seedling logo and the certification AS4736. These products can be placed in your green FOGO bin.

Products may also be certified as home compostable, and display a home compost bin symbol along with the certification AS5810. These products can be placed in your own home compost bin or the green FOGO bin.

Which bin? Compostable bags can be used to line your kitchen caddy for collection of food scraps and then placed into Green Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) bin.

For further clarification check out the Jeffries information below available from www.jeffries.com.au/compostable-vs-biodegradable

Compostable vs Biodegradable What's the difference