Bio-based materials and products are those that are intentionally made wholly, or in part, from substances derived from living (or once-living) organisms, such as wood, starches and cellulose.



The part of the economy using biological resources or bioprocesses for the production of value-added products, such as food, feed, materials, fuels, chemicals, bio-based products and bioenergy.



Any waste such as food and garden waste, paper and paperboard that is capable of undergoing decomposition into natural substances (such as water, carbon dioxide and biomass) due to bacterial activity. International standards ascertain the extent to which biodegradability takes place in a determined timeframe and context, such as industrial or home composting.



A mixture of gases, usually biomethane and nitrogen, produced by anaerobic digestion of biomasses.


Biomass, a renewable energy source, is biological material derived from living, or recently living, organisms, such as wood, waste, and alcohol fuels.



Bioplastics encompasses materials or products that differ from conventional plastics as they are bio-based, biodegradable, or both.



Solid particulate material that is the result of composting, that has been sanitised and stabilised, and which confers beneficial effects when added to soil, is used as a component of a growing medium, or is used in another way in conjunction with plants.



Capable of being made into compost. In the UK, the legal standard for determining compostability of packaging waste is BS EN 13432, which includes the key criteria of disintegration, biodegrability, and low levels of heavy metals, and the packaging must not cause the quality of the compost to decline.



Process of controlled biological decomposition of biodegradable materials under managed conditions that produces a substance that can be used as a soil improver.



A material or product that can break down into smaller particles.



Oxo-degradable materials or products are made of petroleum-based polymers (usually polyethylene (PE)) that contain additives (usually metal salts), which accelerate their degradation when exposed to heat and/or light. They are not biodegradable as defined above nor compostable and are not produced from bio-based renewable sources.