Is biodegradable plastic the wave of the future?
May 17, 2009
It is estimated that over 20 million tons of plastic products are placed in US landfills each year. Unfortunately, according to the EPA, less than 5.3% of that total is being recycled. Typical petrochemical plastics would normally take from 100 to over 500 years to “biodegrade.”
However, with the addition of new compounds, these same plastic formulas biodegrade in a hundredth of that time or less—depending on the thickness of plastic.
Plastics manufactured with these FDA-approved additives will fully biodegrade in home compost heaps, commercial composting operations (both high heat and low heat, vermiculture process), buried in the ground, buried in landfills, tilled into the soil, having been littered, etc.
Eco Marketing Solutions offers a number of custom-imprinted biodegradable plastic items, such as sports bottles, key tags, pens, and flying discs. But what makes certain plastics biodegradable?
Fully biodegradable plastic products look like normal plastic products and have the same properties of plastic until placed into the waste stream. Best of all these products are offered at comparable prices to regular plastic products, all without changing the shelf life.
Plastic products manufactured with these additives will have the same life expectancy as the same plastic products manufactured without these additives under all conditions except under conditions where the product is in constant contact with other material that is biodegrading. For example, a water bottle manufactured with these additives will last in the warehouse and on the store shelf as long as it would without these additives.
The additive is made only from FDA recognized materials and processes regulated according to 21 CFR 175.300, 177.1200, 177.1350 and other sections and is compliant for use in applications with food contact.
Products with these new additives are “biodegradable” because they will biodegrade aerobically or anaerobically and without the need for additional reaction to heat, light or physical stress and therefore will biodegrade wherever there is other biodegradation occurring.
Plastic products manufactured with this additive can be recycled by both the manufacturer in their internal scrap regrind recycling and in post-consumer recycling programs â€“ with no toxic residue.
Isn’t it time for you to demand that your plastic products are biodegradable? These additives are available, so help do your part in reducing landfill wastes by using biodegradable plastics â€“in promotional products and in your other supplies. Push your vendors to develop these products, as they cost no more than regular petroleum plastic â€“and they will help to reduce your carbon footprint.