Are Biodegradable BBs Good?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: September 21, 2021
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Airsoft ammunition (also known as BBs) is traditionally made of steel. 

These metal BBs were recognized to be an environmental hazard. 

Traditional airsoft ammo does not decompose in the environment. 

And young children, pets, and wildlife accidentally ingest these little metal pellets.

The hazards caused by traditional metal airsoft ammunition drove the invention of biodegradable BBs. 

This newer airsoft ammunition is made of biodegradable plastic. 

This plastic decomposes quickly in the environment. All of these seem like good reasons. Yet I wonder – are biodegradable BBs good?

What Are Biodegradable BBs Made of?

Airsoft biodegradable ammunition (BBs) is made of polylactic acid plastic

The polylactic acid compound can be either synthetic or plant resin. These biodegradable BBs made of polylactic acid are water-soluble. 

And over time decompose in the environment.

What Does Biodegradable Mean?

If material is biodegradable, it can be broken down by bacteria and fungi. 

Biodegradable materials break down without causing harm to the environment. 

This means limited amounts of harmful chemicals that enter the soil, air, and water. 

Examples of biodegradable materials are –

  • Paper waste
  • Food waste
  •  Manure
  •  Sewage

What is the Difference Between Biodegradable and Regular BBs?

I think the major difference between biodegradable BBs and regular BBs is the material of each. 

Regular airsoft ammunition is made of steel covered in copper or zinc. Or made of non-biodegradable plastic. 

The plastic, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is not water-soluble. While, biodegradable airsoft ammunition is made of a water-soluble plastic.

Regular Airsoft Ammunition

  •             Copper or Zinc coated steel
  •             Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic
  •             Non-biodegradable
  •             Over 1,000-year life in the environment
  •             Harmful to wildlife and soils

Biodegradable Airsoft Ammunition

  •             Polylactic acid plastic
  •             Biodegradable
  •             Decomposes quickly
  •             Not harmful to the environment

Are Biodegradable BBs Bad for Your Gun?

No, biodegradable BBs are not bad for your airsoft gun. I recommended selecting a high-quality biodegradable airsoft ammunition

This will ensure the ammunition will not shatter or break your gun. 

I also recommend you do not use biodegradable BBs that were exposed to moisture. 

And avoid using biodegradable BBs that were exposed to sunlight.

How Long Does it Take for Biodegradable BBs to Decompose?

I was surprised to find out how little time it takes for a biodegradable BB to decompose. 

Biodegradable airsoft ammunition is made of a water-soluble plastic. 

This type of airsoft ammunition begins decomposing when exposed to moisture. And when exposed to sunlight.

Factors that affect the decomposition of biodegradable airsoft ammunition –

  •             Moisture
  •             Sunlight
  •             Grass
  •             Soil
  •             Water

One study exposed biodegradable airsoft ammunition to soil and grass. 

It found that after one year there was dramatic degradation to the ammunition. 

The same study concluded that after five-hundred and forty-five days the biodegradable BB completely decomposed.

Can You Reuse Biodegradable BBs?

I do not recommend reusing biodegradable airsoft ammunition. 

This is because biodegradable BBs begin to decompose when exposed to moisture. 

And when the biodegradable airsoft ammunition is exposed to sunlight. These two factors are the reasons I do not recommend reusing biodegradable BBs.

Do biodegradable BBs go Bad?

It is possible for biodegradable BBs to go bad. 

You will need to keep your biodegradable plastic airsoft ammunition in an air-tight container. 

This will keep air from getting to the pellets. 

This is important because there is moisture in the air.

I suggest you use an opaque container. 

This is because sunlight will decompose biodegradable BBs. 

To keep your biodegradable BBs from going bad, keep them in a dark, dry place. 

To extend the useful life of your biodegradable airsoft ammunition remember to –

  •             Store in an opaque container
  •             Keep away from moisture
  •             Avoid prolonged exposure to the air
  •             Do not expose to soil or grass

Are Biodegradable BBs Bad for the Environment?

Original, non-biodegradable airsoft ammunition is recognized as being bad for the environment. 

These BBs are made of metal or non-biodegradable plastics. 

This type of airsoft ammunition lasts in the environment for thousands of years. 

And wildlife is harmed by accidently ingested these BBs.

On the other hand, biodegradable BBs decompose. When exposed to moisture and sunlight, biodegradable airsoft ammunition quickly degrades. 

The quick degradation of the biodegradable BBs means they are not bad for the environment. 

The rate of decomposition can take from a month to a year and a half.

Pros of Biodegradable Airsoft Ammunition

  •             Decompose when exposed to water or sunlight
  •             Not harmful to the environment or wildlife

Cons of Biodegradable Airsoft Ammunition

  •             Cost more than traditional airsoft ammo
  •             Non-reusable       

Best Biodegradable Airsoft BBs

There are many companies that make biodegradable airsoft ammunition. 

This got me thinking, what are the best biodegradable airsoft BBs? So, I compiled the following list of what I consider to be the best biodegradable airsoft ammunition. 

All the BBs on my list work with most airsoft guns.

  •             5000 Premium Elite Force Biodegradable 6mm Airsoft Ammunition
  •             Black Ops Biodegradable Airsoft BBs
  •             GameFace SAP2020E Match Grade Biodegradable .20-Gram White Airsoft BBs

One of my top three favorites is the 5000 Premium Elite Force biodegradable 6mm airsoft ammunition. 

The ammo weighs 0.20 grams. It is high-quality, loads, and shoots smoothly. 

The 5000 Premium Elite Force biodegradable 6mm airsoft ammo comes in 2,700 count or 5,000 count bottles.

Another favorite of mine is the Black Ops Biodegradable Airsoft BBs. This is a 6mm, 0.20-gram biodegradable pellet. 

The Black Ops Biodegradable Airsoft BBs claims to have a stable formula that gives it a longer lifespan. 

This brand only comes in a 10,000-pellet container.

The GameFace SAP2020E Match Grade Biodegradable .20-Gram White Airsoft BBs comes in a 2,000-pellet container. 

I like this brand because they decompose in forty-five days. Another cool feature of the GameFace SAP2020E airsoft ammo is the bottle has an easy to pour lid.

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