Understanding the Biodegradability of Airsoft BBs

In this article, we will discuss if the Airsoft BBs are biodegradable, and how long the process takes. We will also explore the material used and more about these Airsoft BBS and their biodegradability.

Are Airsoft BBs Biodegradable?

To answer this, it is crucial to consider the material composition of the BBs. They can be made from various substances including petroleum-based components and Polylactic Acid (PLA) – an organic waste product derived from milk, animals, or plants like cassava, corn, and sugar beet pulp. If the BBs are PLA-based, they are indeed biodegradable. However, those made from synthetic plastics like Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) are non-biodegradable.

How Long Do Airsoft BBs Take to Biodegrade?

PLA-based Airsoft BBs can take up to 2 years to biodegrade. Although these BBs are compostable, their biodegradation in a natural environment might not be complete. This is because compostable materials require special conditions for full decomposition, such as exposure to air, soil, water or moisture, sunlight, and microorganisms.

Materials Used in Biodegradable Airsoft BBs

Manufacturers use various materials to make airsoft BBs, with different formulas determining the material composition. The most common plastics used in BB production are PLA and ABS. PLA, synthesized from organic materials, is renewable and biodegradable. ABS, however, is nonrenewable and not biodegradable. Most airsoft BBs marketed as biodegradable are made from PLA.

Are Airsoft BBs Bad for the Environment?

Traditional, non-biodegradable airsoft BBs pose significant environmental challenges. Plastic pollution from these BBs can harm biodiversity, including marine life, as fish ingest plastics. This danger is transferred up the food chain when other fish consume the plastic-laden organisms. Fortunately, biodegradable airsoft BBs offer an environmentally friendly alternative.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Biodegradable BBs

Easy to dispose of as they decompose when introduced to the environmentStart decomposing once their seal is broken, prompting immediate usage
Reduces greenhouse gas levelsTend to shatter upon impact, which can cause injury
Do not pollute the environmentHigh costs compared to non-biodegradable BBs
Safe in case they are ingestedCan jam airsoft guns due to oily film
Require less landfill due to rapid deterioration


1. Are airsoft BBs reusable?

No, airsoft BBs are not recommended for reuse due to potential damage and performance inconsistency. Used BBs may contain cracks and can even damage the airsoft gun if reused.

2. What types of BBs are used in airsoft?

Airsoft uses various types of BBs, including plastic, biodegradable, and tracer BBs.

3. Are biodegradable BBs edible?

While biodegradable BBs made from PLA are considered safe if ingested, they may cause intestinal blockages in large quantities. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them out of the reach of wildlife.


Biodegradable airsoft BBs, typically made from PLA, offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional, non-biodegradable plastic BBs. They are not harmful to the environment and decompose over time, reducing their impact on the ecosystem. While they have some disadvantages, such as a higher cost and immediate decomposition once their seal is broken, their environmental benefits make them an excellent choice for airsoft enthusiasts.

Harrison Baxter
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