Biodegradable Plastic – When we see this written on our disposable shopping bags, children’s diapers or food containers we automatically think we are doing the right thing by buying it in preference to regular non-biodegradable plastic. But are we?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
In fact, we are probably doing more harm than good. Bio-degradable plastics typically cannot be recycled with regular plastic, so needs to be put with the regular waste for disposal. Then, once disposed of (even in a composter), they tend to degrade very slowly, if at all. If conditions are right for degradation, toxic gases such as CO2 and methane as well as other toxins found in the plastics or resins used will be emitted into the atmosphere. If that is not bad enough, some plant-based plastics have an impact on deforestation and misappropriation of land that should be used for food production.
In short, biodegradable plastic is just another green washing campaign, targeting the environmentally considerate, making us feel like we are doing the right thing, but just makes things worse.
Try not to be fooled with misleading advice, no matter how well intentioned. And like always, the best advice is the usually the simplest advice.
Reduce – Re-use – Recycle
And if there really is no choice then opt for the regular plastic bags which (Ironically) has a lower impact in the long term.
One Brown Planet – Respect yourself, respect all others and above all, don’t forget to respect the environment we live in, there is only one of them🙂