Biodegradable plastic is a degradable plastic in which the degradation must result from the action of naturally occurring microorganisms such as fungi or bacteria.
Compostable plastic is a plastic which undergoes biological degradation during composting at a rate consistent with other known compostable materials leaving no visually distinguishable or toxic residues.
Envelopes qualifying as recyclable are made with paper and have no attachments that prevent them from being entered into conventional recycling programs.
An envelope can only be marked as recyclable if it can be collected, separated or otherwise recovered from the solid waste stream for reuse in the manufacture of another product through an established recycling program.
Envelopes manufactured utilizing only recyclable papers are more easily entered into a conventional recycling program. This helps reduce landfill use and causes the fiber to be given new life as another product.
Envelopes are made with paper which contains post-consumer or pre-consumer recycled fiber or both. Post-consumer waste fiber is generated from consumer end products that have been separated or diverted from the solid waste stream. Pre-consumer waste fiber is generated from materials that have not met their intended end-use by a consumer.
Envelopes manufactured utilizing recycled paper contain post consumer waste, which is considered less harmful to the environment due to the reduction of environmental impacts associated with the manufacture of virgin paper.