Bioplastics: The Pros and Cons ... ummm ... they dont biodegrade under natural conditions and they fuck up the recycling of recyclable plastic!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2010 1:49 AM GMT
    I started a thread previously asking if anybody knew anything about bioplastics/corn plastic. I didnt get much of a response but here is some interesting info I found.

    My organic food market just switched to biodegradable plastic bags made from corn. They are under the impression that these bags biodegrade within 45 days. Nay, nay! These damn things only degrade at 140 degrees and high moisture level. Not conditions of your normal trash dump or in your compost heap. Unless processed as above, these bags will hang around in the environment as long as an ordinary plastic bag.

    But these bioplastic bags have a real kicker that the public needs to know. They cant be recycled with recyclable plastics. And just a little bit of bioplastic in a batch of recyclable plastic will fuck it up so it cant be used.

    Bioplastics: The Pros and Cons
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2010 2:51 AM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2010 3:45 AM GMT
    Aw great - Island Waste Management will give us ANOTHER monster bin on wheels for THAT now.

    As it is already, it takes newcomers at least a year of having your bins tagged and left for you to resort before you get it right and they take the damned stuff.

    We are totally obsessive about it here (but I guess on an island this small you have to. If you dump it in the sea you'll destroy the fish stocks.)


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 27, 2010 4:05 AM GMT
    Well, actually that link is just another bit of envirobabble from Miss Information.

    Corn-based polymers are reasonably biodegradable under all conditions. And "140 degrees and "high" moisture levels" are exactly what one finds in a normal landfill or compost heap.

    But really, the quest for "biodegradable plastics" is just stupid. We use plastics in situations where we don't want biodegradation. Like making durable goods, and protecting food and other materials. As long as they're clean, standard plastics are rather straightforward to recycle. Recycle streams need to be sorted by the type of resin, hence the numbers stamped on them. Incompatible materials get sorted out.

    What I said in the previous thread was the straight dope, but I can't give any details because of a number of non-disclosure agreements.