FAQ Series: What is the Difference Between Recyclable and Biodegradable?

Recyclable and biodegradable are two terms that can get confused. We’re here to help understand the difference.

Let’s start off with the term: recyclable. The definition from dictionary.com states…

Recyclable: to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse.

YES!  Our material Airpop® (EPS)  is made of 98% air and is an inert material without harmful chemicals that off-gas or leach during its use of disposal. Airpop® (EPS) is 100% recyclable. Many EPS users do not know of it’s recycling capability.

By The Numbers (2016 Domestic EPS Recycling):

The EPS Industry Alliance shares Airpop® (EPS) packaging recycling stats.

  • 63 million pounds Post-Consumer
  • 55.7 million pounds Post-Industrial

View the recycling rate report by clicking here!

Biodegradable: capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms.

Biodegradable is a different concept. Airpop® (EPS) breaks down slowly making it a non-viable biodegradable product. Common substances that are biodegradable include food scraps, cotton, wool, wood, human and animal waste.

Although Airpop® (EPS) is not biodegradable, it can be recycled and reused. We are a proud industry supporter of this initiative in conjunction with our own sustainability efforts.


We love it when you ask these questions.  Please continue to ask more or reach out to our team directly: sales@plymouthfoam.com.