Biodegradable products began to become available about 15 years ago. They began to come about as a response to plastic products that were being discarded and did not biodegrade as expected. Today, biodegradable products can be made of plastics, rubber, treated paper products, and a whole other range of synthetic materials. These products are still being used today and have grown in popularity as environmental knowledge has become more widespread and mainstream.
The word biodegradable came into use in the early 1960s and there were certainly biodegradable materials well before 1995 (15 years ago). The reference in the link says biodegradable plastic bags were being used as mulch in 1975.
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