Benefits of using Biodegradable Plastics
Studies have revealed that Americans are generating plastics than ever, and a negligible amount of plastic is sent for recycling. Plastics & it’s by-products are cluttering up our cities, oceans & contributing to deadly health problems in humans & animals.
Thankfully, biodegradable plastic is an effective solution to mitigate the world-wide epidemic of non-biodegradable plastic bags & provide feasible alternative to improve environment & save marine species.
Biodegradable plastics have ignited a revolt against ubiquitous plastic bags & by using them one can effectively contribute in conserving non-renewable resources of Earth that are depleting at a high-speed.
What is biodegradable plastic?
The term biodegradable plastic refers to the plastic that is made from natural plant-based raw materials like corn-starch, sugarcane Bagasse, orange peels, starch etc. It decomposes naturally in the environment when micro-organisms metabolize & breakdown the structure of bio-degradable plastic. The end-products of bioplastic cause less harm to the environment as compared to the traditional plastic.
Advantages of using biodegradable plastics:
- Reduction in Carbon Emission:
- Lesser Energy Consumption:
- Environmentally friendly Disposable Solution:
- Recyclable Material:
The formation of traditional plastic involves use of carbon in an excessive amount. This carbon is released into the atmosphere when the used plastic begins to decompose or melt. There are positives that methane & other pollutants could also be released when traditional plastic is recycled or burned.
In contrary to which, biodegradable plastics do not release carbon or methane as no carbon is used in its manufacturing process. Biodegradable plastics are broken down by naturally-occurring bacteria & since these plastics are plant-based, minimal amount of carbon is released during the composting process.
Though the initial investment in the biodegradable plastics might be slightly higher, in the long run biodegradable plastics involve lesser amount of energy in its manufacturing process & do not need fossil fuels to be recycled. Thus, it contributes in conserving petroleum supplies. Conversely, traditional plastic comes from heating and treating oil molecules until they turn into polymers & demands more energy in its production & burning of fossil fuel.
The traditional plastics are thrown on the scrapheap at landfills. As a consequence, the land that could have been used for agriculture, residence or industrial applications is converted into landfills by non-biodegradable plastic.
The usage of biodegradable plastic products will reduce the number of landfills as these products undergo biodegradation when buried or given to composting. The micro-organisms in soil will breakdown the plastic pieces into compost, humus other useful compounds. However, these bacteria will turn up their nose at traditional plastic. Yes, you can try loading their dinner plates with plastic bottles or bags, & you shall see the entire meal being skipped by these unicellular gluttons.
Biodegradable plastics not only take significantly lesser time to breakdown, but can also be recycled to manufacture more plastic by-products. The products produced are non-toxic as they don’t contain chemicals or toxics if compared to traditional plastic.
Use of ground-breaking technology in recycling the bio-plastic has closed the loop by creating the materials that lessen our reliance on traditional plastics. The recycled materials are compatible with standard plastic manufacturing equipment, thus making a way for rapid market adoption.