Bioplastics Get Trashed in Rhode IslandPosted on June 11, 2012 by DrRossH in BioPlastics
The folks in Rhode Island have come to this unfortunate reality realisation that the green promises of Bioplastics can not deliver benefits for their plastic waste management processes. While heavily oversold by manufacturers that bioplastics are biodegradable and made from plants making all our concerns abut plastics go away, the exact opposite is true at the moment. For bioplastics to be biodegradable, they require special composting infrastructure and unless that is made available, the bioplastic is not biodegradable.
Being made from plants and not petroleum sounds green, but when studies are done to measure how much fuel is used to plant, grow and harvest a crop there doesn’t seem to be any benefit. And do we want to take up valuable arable land that can grow food to make a plastic bottle that has a usable life of a few minutes then a polluting life of 100’s of years?
“Though the raw materials for plant-based PET and HDPE come from renewable, lower-carbon sources, the resulting plastics are chemically identical to traditional plastic bottles. And, as plastic, the plant-based bottles carry all the same environmental impacts as those made from fossil fuels, and they don’t biodegrade.
So, are they better for the environment? That is a complicated question and one that depends on how the plants used to make the plastic are grown: Are they grown with petrochemicals? Are they produced from GMOs? And so much depends on the afterlife of the bottle — in Rhode Island plant-based PET (and HDPE) bottles go in the trash.”