bioplastics and dirt!
Even more confusing...
Not all biodegradable products are necessarily compostable.
Ability to mass produce developed in the early 1900's
Widely incorporated into society in the 1960's
Used across industries as a cheap alternative to natural resources
Takes 1000+ years to degrade into micro-plastics
Made via a process of polymerizing petroleum reserves aka fossil fuels
Insufficient ways to manage waste pollutes our water
Paper products including cardboard
What is it made out of?
Plants or other organics (something grown from the ground)
How do I tell if it is compostable?
How do they break down?
Important Operational Notes
On the PLUS side
Innovative creative space
Companies are forming specifically to come up with innovative materials to make the packaging
PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) = plastic derived from bacteria
Indonesia based "Evo & Co." that has compostables made out of seaweed
Other companies working on more forward thinking products based out of beer waste too!
- Must be composted!
- Do not throw in with your recycling!! It can contaminate the entire batch depending on the recycler.
- Biodegradable doesn't necessarily mean compostable - make sure to find certification
Dose of reality...
In 2012 - only 9% of 32 million tons of plastic waste generated in the U.S. was recycled
Biodegradable but not certified compostable: these are bio-based or natural labeled products
They have a chemical additive to allow them to speed up the breakdown process.
This just means breaking into smaller bits of plastic called micro-plastics.
They can still be created completely with fossil fuels
What can you do?!
Ask yourself - what will happen to this item when I'm done with it?
Is there a location for me to compost it?
If not, is there a way I can use an item that can be re-used and washed?
What is the least amount of waste you can make possible?
Thank you for sharing your time with me today! Please feel free to comment or provide feedback!!