Use of Biodegradable Plastics “Well-Intentioned but Wrong”, Warns Top Scientist

Posted on July 7, 2016 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News

Source: Use of Biodegradable Plastics “Well-Intentioned but Wrong”, Warns Top Scientist – Jul 05 2016 08:00 AM – Breaking News – Pollution Solutions Online

While most of this article is correct, there are discrepancies and there is other information not presented. What was presented about compostable plastic as not biodegrading where consumers discard their rubbish is correct and that is a big problem for any compostable plastic.  There is also no infra structure in place to separately collect and transport compostable plastic so its recycling % is all most zero.  Another big problem for this material.  Not to be confused with its recyclability, which is zero.

Then while you made reference to it you didn’t mention Degradable plastics or oxodegradable.   This is a disaster of a product.  It causes the plastic to fragment into little bite sized pieces which blow and flow around the environment.  It does not fragment if buried in a landfill as no sunlight or oxygen there.  Its only purpose it to make plastic waste up on top the ground less visible to the human eye.  But very dangerous to the environment.  It cannot be mainstream recycled either as it contaminate the new products.  Their only disposal method is incineration and if it is to be incinerated then why go to the bother to make it degradable in the first place?  Degradable plastics particularly bags are greenwashed and sold as biodegradable, good for the environment.  When in reality they are the opposite.

There is a newer third option, landfill-biodegradable. This is traditional plastic like LDPE with an organic additive in it.  This attracts natural microorganisms in a landfill for example to digest the plastic.  Not a fast process, years as a min for any plastic with a thickish wall section.  But as long as it biodegrades in 20 years or so then that plastic is not being left for the next generation to deal with.  In the ocean there are very microorganisms hence landfill-biodegradable plastics will act like any other plastic in the ocean.

None of the above are any good for the ocean and the only solution there is to stop using disposable plastic items all together.