Why isn’t all plastic packaging biodegradable, so it just disappears?
Biodegradable plastics do have a role to play, but unfortunately they are not a universal solution to plastic waste. Biodegradable plastics degrade under certain conditions into natural substances such as carbon dioxide, methane and water. Standards for biodegradable plastics mostly refer to industrial composting where temperatures exceed 50°C for weeks or months. This is why biodegradable plastics are not a solution to marine litter and plastic pollution.
Also, biodegradable plastics cannot be recycled with most other plastics, as they would contaminate the recycled plastic. However, biodegradable plastics can be a good choice in some applications. One example is compostable coffee capsules, for which RPC recently developed a unique barrier plastic that can be disposed of along with the food waste, and breaks down completely in the industrial composting process.
- Jo Webb
- YouTube Video
- Created 12 Feb 2019
- Modified 03 May 2019
- Hits 415