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Bio-Based vs Biodegradable Bicycle Maintenance Products

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Posted By: Colby Moffett

Feb 28, 2020

The difference between bio-based and biodegradable

Is petroleum really bad?

Your iPhone is biodegradable. Does that come as a surprise?

 In fact, almost everything is biodegradable. It’s just that certain items might take years, decades, centuries or longer to decompose. It is essential to understand the difference between products labeled “biodegradable” and those, like all Whistler Performance Lubricants’, that are certified bio-based.

What is biodegradable?

There is no regulation of the word “biodegradable”, meaning any product (including your iPhone) could use the term in its labeling.

Almost all chemical compounds and materials are subject to the biodegradation process over time; “biodegradable” simply means something is capable of being decomposed by bacteria or another living organism. To put this into perspective, crude oil and toxic petro-based chemicals are technically biodegradable — although a plastic bottle might take 100 years to decompose, and crude oil exponentially longer.

 The above should make you think twice about lubricants and other bike care products purporting to be eco-friendly through cunning, but somewhat misleading, marketing.


What is bio-based?

“Bio-based” means that a product is composed entirely or significantly of materials from a biological (plant or animal — all WPL’s products are plant-based) sources that are renewable and decompose immediately.

 Bio-based is not just a term, it is an official certification governed by the United States Department of Agriculture; all items labeled “bio-based” in the US must pass testing in a third-party lab.

Transparency is a big part of WPL’s mission and the reason that all our products are certified bio-based, composed entirely of eco-friendly ingredients — no petro-based additives, synthetic oils, or toxic organic solvents. 

Is petroleum really bad?

Petroleum-based products can certainly be useful and are not always directly harmful, but avoiding using them can help limit our impact on the planet.

 The lasting effect of petroleum-based products goes beyond their longevity in the ecosystem. The extraction and refinement of oil produce large amounts of toxic waste and by-products, not to mention the harmful effects of inevitable spillages and the industry's emissions.

Whistler Performance Lubricants is dedicated to creating elevated performance, biodegradable, bio-based bicycle maintenance products developed in leading materials science laboratories to achieve unmatched functionality.