Biodegradable generally refers to products that can be broken down by natural processes and biological organisms, including invertebrates, fungi, and bacteria. Until recently, consumer appreciation of the issues behind biodegradability was limited for a number of reasons. The proliferation of terminology and the complexity of the different processes involved prevented the general public from engaging with this feature of sustainable practice. As a result of this lack of understanding, the purchase decision-making process had not been duly influenced by considerations of the lifecycle of products or packaging, and the possibilities of reuse or recycling. However, as the related terminology—degradable, biodegradable, and compostable—entered more general use, consumer awareness of the terms grew, though consumers still lacked a complete understanding. This has been stimulated by government campaigns ...

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