There’s been a lot of confusion lately surrounding biodegradable plastics. Some organizations have claimed that biodegradable plastics are no better than petroleum-based plastics. This is partly true –many biodegradable plastics take years to decompose in the earth or the ocean. BUT, specific compostable plastics have been proven to decompose faster than their biodegradable cousins. This is good news and always a reason to choose wisely when using plastics. We are confident in the environmental safety and bio-efficacy of our products, read on to learn more.
Here’s the lowdown on the types of plastics:
- Regular plastic is made from petroleum and is full of harmful chemical fillers that are toxic to the environment when broken down. Carbon, methane, and other pollutants are released as this bag breaks down. Research shows this type of plastic bag can take up to 1000 years to break down into microplastics. According to Almostzerowaste.com, approximately 2 million plastic bags are used every minute worldwide.
- Bioplastics are comprised of chemical compounds that are derived from microbes or genetically modified plants. There are three types: (1) those made from bio-based starch or cellulose, these are both biodegradable and bio-based; (2) those derived from synthetic polyesters, these break down into microplastics and produce toxic end-product; and (3) those made from bio-based oils, they may be bio-based but they are not biodegradable.
- Oxo-biodegradable plastic is generally conventional plastic with additives that speed-up breakdown when exposed to oxygen and sunlight. Research has shown they don’t breakdown completely and result in fragmented plastic (micro-plastic).
- Photo-biodegradable plastics require light to decompose. Generally, it is made from plant sources, which include sugar, banana peel, avocado, waste frying oil. Studies are still being done to assess the efficacy and environmental impact of these products.
- Hydro-biodegradable plastic is made from plant-based material and can be broken down by water molecules. This plastic is generally compostable and can decompose in water and soil.
- Compostable plastic degrades in a composting environment and must meet precise and strict standards and specifications. The standards ensure that compostability meets a strict timeline and ensures colors, glues, labels, dyes, and residuals are non-toxic. And, as we know GMO-free compostable plastics are the best alternative.
Now let’s put these bags to the test…
A marine study conducted by scientist Imogen Napper, put five types of plastic bags to the test. The results found, ‘even in a tough marine environment, where algae and animals quickly covered the plastic, three years wasn’t long enough to break down any of the plastics except for the plant-based compostable option, which did disappear underwater within three months.’ This study included standard biodegradable, degradable and conventional plastic. This is positive news considering the traditional alternative takes between 20-1000 years to decompose.
Not only that, studies conducted on our GMO-free vegetable-based plastics illustrate effective decomposition on land. The end result is a non-toxic organic fertilizer that can be used for growth of crops. Make the switch now; let this be the first and last piece of plastic you put in your trash can.
Please ensure your composting facility accepts compostable plastic products. If you must dispose of our products in the trash, we are confident in the research that our GMO-free vegetable plastic will biodegrade in both sea water and on land.
We are happy to report that ALL of our soft plastics are certified compostable by: TUV CERTIFICATE ok compost for both home and industrial composting (S0329), BPI Compostable, Australasian Bioplastics Assoc. ABAP, DIN CERTCO (EN13432) compostable and ASTMD-6400.
Our partner producer is in the business of environmental protection and so are we… Will you join us too?