The Environmental Impact of Corn-Based PlasticsPosted on January 31, 2018 by DrRossH in BioPlastics
But critics say that PLA is far from a panacea for dealing with the world’s plastic waste problem. For one, although it does biodegrade, it does so very slowly. According to Elizabeth Royte, writing in Smithsonian, PLA may well break down into its constituent parts (carbon dioxide and water) within three months in a “controlled composting environment,” that is, an industrial composting facility heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and fed a steady diet of digestive microbes. But it will take far longer in a compost bin or in a landfill packed so tightly that no light and little oxygen are available to assist in the process. Indeed, analysts estimate that a PLA bottle could take anywhere from 100 to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill.