Some Quick Facts about Biodegradable
1. Bio-based plastics are more sustainable than petroleum-based polymers.
They are made from renewable plant-based resources like sugar cane, cornstarch and wheat. In the U.S. alone, 200 000 barrels of oil are used daily to make plastic, which could be eliminated by using sustainable bio-plastic.
2. The manufacturing of bio-based plastic like PLA is more fuel-efficient than oil-based plastic.
PLA requires 65% less energy to make than its petroleum-based counterpart.
3. The correct treatment of a bio-based plastic at the end of its life cycle is crucial.
Bio-based plastics like PLA require commercial composting facilities to break down. Although a product may be biodegradable or compostable does not mean that it will degrade in the environment. Biodegradable products require the correct conditions of heat, water and light to degrade.
4. Biodegradable plastic products produce 68% less greenhouse gas emissions than oil-based plastic products.
Biodegradables produce less pollution when manufactured and break down into organic components, which are safe for our water and air.
5. Biodegradable does not necessarily mean compostable.
Biodegradable plastics are made from the same material as petroleum-based plastic with additional chemicals that cause it to break down quicker. However, some biodegradable plastics fragment without disintegrating completely and can pollute the soil, air and waterways, as well as pose a risk to animals. They cannot be recycled. On the other hand, compostable bio-based plastics like PLA are made from plant-based sources and break down into organic components that do not leave toxic residues.
6. Composting bio-based plastic can turn trash into rich, humic material.
This can improve water and nutrient retention and help grow healthier plants with less need for chemical fertilizers.