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Capable of disintegration by biological means; typically, composed of organic matter that can be readily decomposed by a wide variety of microorganisms. A term that is technically less precise than “compostable” because it fails to indicate the time required for complete disintegration (which the term “compostable” does specify). Technically, almost all materials are “biodegradable”, since with enough time, some microorganisms can decompose almost anything. For example, The Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) reports that aluminum cans biodegrade in the ocean in about 175 years, and hard plastic bottle caps biodegrade in the ocean in about 400 years.

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