Guam Biodegradables


Your source for eco-friendly, daily-use products in Guam, Saipan, and Micronesia.

Recyclable Vs Biodegradable

To put it simply, recyclable products means you have to take them to a recycling center where they will reprocess the material for reuse. Biodegradable means the material will break down on its own, in certain conditions, without any further intervention.

Biodegradable materials: paper vs bioplastics

In a nutshell:

Paper-based biodegradables don't last as long when in use (think paper plates, and paper straws). Some may leave trace amounts of chemicals (from paper processing) when degrading; in the case of straws, they may have an aftertaste.


PLA is Polymerized Lactic Acid. This is made when plant resources, like corn and cassava (to name a couple), have their starch extracted and then fermented. This natural process produces a plastic-like material that is 100% biodegradable. When processing to certain specifications depending on the product, other ingredients are added that may affect a PLA's 100% biodegradable status and some may not be home compostable (some landfills are capable of composting them). This may be better than relying on recycling efforts.

PHA is PolyHydroxyalkonoate naturally derived from canola or soy, biosynthesized by bacteria. This material is soil biodegradable. This means home compostable, wet and dry landfill compostable, and marine biodegradable. To clear up a bit of confusion between compostable and biodegradable. All compostable materials are biodegradable but not all biodegradable materials are compostable because compostable materials require specific conditions (think landfills vs home). Some biodegradable materials may leave trace residues however PHA's do not.

Both types of bioplastics (PLA and PHA) require a certain amount of time to degrade fully. This will depend on the additives used when manufacturing the bioplastic which will affect the percentage of degradation and the amount of trace residue left behind (if any).

At the moment PHA products are slightly more expensive than PLA's, with paper products being the least expensive.

Let's all do our part to protect the only home we have by using 100% biodegradable, 100% sustainable products in our daily lives. 

Life on beautiful tropical islands is a joy and we believe in doing as much as we can to keep our islands beautiful.