Is String Trimmer Line Biodegradable?

Approx Reading Time: 8 minutes

When you’re environmentally conscious, it’s essential to know that the products you’re using will break down over a reasonable amount of time, rather than litter the earth for millennia. Plastic, like string trimmer lines, can take 1,000 years to decompose, and whenever you’re weeding your yard, the last thing you want to think about is that broken line being on your lawn long after you’re gone.

So, is string trimmer line biodegradable? While most brands of string trimmer line are not, there is one biodegradable brand on the market today that stands out. The most reputable brand with this earth-friendly gardening technology is Biotrim. After a decade of development, Biotrim has successfully created a string trimmer line that is 100% biodegradable.

This article will discuss the importance of biodegradable string trimmer lines, the pros and cons of the eco-friendly tool, and take a closer look at Biotrim’s revolutionary product.

Why Biodegradable String Trimmer Line Matters

With billions of gardeners all over the world and millions of string trimmer users, it’s no secret that all of these yard lovers increase the amount of plastic left in the environment. From the U.S. and U.K. alone, nearly 90 million tons of plastic are generated each year

While most of that plastic isn’t from string trimmers, the line they use is a contributing factor, considering how often it breaks off of the machine and is disposed of. Furthermore, there’s been no real attempt to do much about the issue, as there’s no way to recycle your string trimmer line to put towards reuse. 

Some issues that can arise from using a string trimmer line that isn’t biodegradable are:

  • Pets or wildlife that get a hold of the weed trimmer line and consume it could be at risk of injury or death. 
  • The line will take just as long as other plastic objects to break down, and your yard will be littered with microplastics for the duration of your stay on this planet (and much longer).
  • Whenever you mow your yard, you’ll be cutting the string trimmer line into small pieces and scattering them all over your yard, in the streets, bushes, and more, leading to an abundance of microplastics in multiple places, rather than one unit of plastic in a single place. 

All-in-all, if you care about the world you live in and want to take steps to remove plastic from the environment (and your backyard), then using a biodegradable string trimmer line is a great place to start. 

The Best Biodegradable String Trimmer Line Brand

The most reputable — and only, it seems — biodegradable string trimmer line brand, Biotrim – made by Oregon, has dedicated itself to creating the highest-quality, best-performing, and quickest-degrading string trimmer line on the market today. With over a decade of research and trial and error, they managed to produce a 100% biodegradable string trimmer line for both professional and home use.

What’s unique about this string trimmer line is that it will only begin to decompose when it comes in contact with the soil. You can expect this line to easily last a few years without it breaking down when kept stored indoors correctly. 

If you want to give Biotrim a try, you can buy it from Amazon

How does Biotrim work? It’s quite impressive!

  • Once the Biotrim trimmer line breaks and hits the soil, it begins its decomposition process. 
  • Within three years, photo-oxidation occurs — or the breaking apart of the line’s components by the sunlight. 
  • Following photo-oxidation, thermal-oxidation breaks the line down further. 
  • Finally, microorganisms in the dirt break it down entirely by consuming it. 

The entire decomposition process of Biotrim’s string trimmer line can take anywhere between 5 to 10 years. While that may seem like a long time, it isn’t in the grand scheme of things — especially when compared to the time it takes for average plastic materials to break down naturally. 

The time the line takes to break down fully depends on the climatic conditions around it. If you live in a sunnier and generally warmer area of the United States (or the world), you could expect your biodegradable string trimmer line to decompose in less time.

Not only is Biotrim’s string trimmer line biodegradable, but it also has a natural beige color to it, as to better blend in with the surroundings. To go that extra mile, Biotrim made the packaging the line comes in — both the plastic and the packaging body — biodegradable, as well. (So, you won’t have to feel any guilt throwing it in the garbage can). 

Some of the advantages of Biotrim string trimmer line are:

  • Though the Biotrim line is biodegradable, it doesn’t lack in performance compared to its plastic counterparts. It’s made with cutting edge technology that allows it to slice through your lawn with ease, giving you a lovely finish every time.
  • The durable inner core resists breaks. Though string trimmer line is bound to break at some point (especially if your garden is more weed-infested than usual), Biotrim’s line is designed to resist early breakage and holds up well to multiple uses without having to restring.
  • The twisted outer layer of the line reduces noise. Biotrim’s line doesn’t only cut your weeds and grass down, but it lessens the amount of noise your weed-eater produces, too.
  • It breaks down in 5 to 10 years, which is a significantly shorter decomposition timeframe than your average plastic string trimmer line (which can take decades or hundreds of years to break down entirely). 
  • It has a natural color, as to not take away from your backyard or create any unsightly tones.
  • Biotrim won’t break down when in storage. The decomposition process begins only when it’s out of the package and in contact with soil.
  • The diameter of the line is perfect for both home and (for most) commercial use. Generally, the string trimmer lines for home and commercial use will differ in diameter. This is because professionals usually tackle tougher jobs, with more cutting, and thicker grasses or weeds. Biotrim’s line is 1.6 mm in diameter, making it great for home jobs and commercials jobs of light to medium difficulty.
  • Biotrim is compatible with any weed-eater model. The nearly 50-foot line of Biotrim biodegradable string trimmer line can fit any weed-eater model, is easy to string, and works like a gem. 

The one disadvantage of Biotrim is that its lifespan may not be as long as a traditional string trimmer line. If you plan on buying a string trimmer line to keep for your entire life, you may want to rethink your purchase.

Though Biotrim will last in storage for quite some time, it does have a limited lifespan of a few years, while a regular string trimmer line would likely last you forever.

Biodegradable vs. Traditional String Trimmer Line

Aside from the environmental impact that plastics and microplastics have on the earth, you may be asking yourself how a biodegradable string trimmer line compares with the traditional plastic string trimmer line. Biotrim compares to conventional plastic string trimmer line quite well in some areas and not so well in others. 

Biodegradable string trimmer line doesn’t have as long of a lifespan in storage as traditional string trimmer line; however, it does last a few years in storage, meaning that you’ll have plenty of time to use the entire roll of string trimmer line before it’s life is up.

On the contrary, you could throw a regular string trimmer line in your shed and wait a few decades until you’re ready to use it. 

The one disadvantage that jumps out the most is the fact that Biotrim is a very limited product. There are not many brands that produce biodegradable string trimmer lines, and the one that does only offers one variety of it.

Traditional plastic string trimmer lines can come in a multitude of colors, diameters, and styles that can give you the desired look for your lawn, as well as withstand the pressure of any job at hand. 

For this reason, the traditional string trimmer line is much more versatile than the biodegradable one – and possibly more appealing to a consumer or commercial business because of that versatility.

Overall, a biodegradable string trimmer line holds up well when compared to a traditional string trimmer line when you consider basic performance. It can get the job done both at home and work, but it doesn’t offer as much versatility as its plastic counterpart.

The question of which one you should use comes to how much you care to use biodegradable products and how big of an impact using plastic products has on your personal life. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to whether or not string trimmer lines are biodegradable, the answer is generally “no.” Unless, of course, you consider brands such as Biotrim, then the answer is a resounding “yes!”

It does take a decade or so for it to degrade, but some time is better than a long time. If the environment is a forefront concern of yours, a biodegradable string trimmer line is something you should consider.

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Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!