Can Biodegradable Plastic Be Composted?

Mike Davies | Friday, October 9, 2020

The ability of living and non-living things to survive on earth depends on the environment they stay in. Animals and plants scattered everywhere that we interact with, all this is made by the environment. The rapid growth in technology has greatly affected the environment both positively and negatively. For instance, the invention of heavy machinery and plastics by several industries has caused air pollution by emitting dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide that has resulted in respiratory problems in humans and animals.

According to the research carried out by several scientists. In recent years, it has been observed that humans have been on the frontline of environmental degradation either directly or indirectly. Several organizations have been formed to prevent more destruction of the environment. Fortunately, we have been playing a significant role in educating society on the importance of conserving the environment.

Industries too have not been left behind as many of them have come up with environmentally friendly methods of depositing their waste products such as biodegradable plastics which are plastics that are designed to decompose when exposed to microorganisms. Usually, these plastics are made from plants or other natural products under controlled temperatures. This article will help you understand and answer all questions about biodegradable plastics, as shown below.

Are bioplastics compostable?

Bioplastics can be compostable but under different circumstances, as they are made from natural plants such as cassava, sugarcane, and corn, making it possible to degrade when exposed to microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. However, the compostability of this plastics depends on the chemical structure. For instance, some bioplastics are compostable even though they are made from fossil materials like fuel hence limiting the time required for degradation.

How long does it take for compostable plastic to decompose?

A compostable plastic when estimated it takes three to seven months to decompose as compared to traditional plastics that can take even a hundred years to decompose fully. However, the period for decompositions of this plastics usually depends on factors such as temperatures and moisture content. An increase in temperatures increases the decomposition rate and vice verse.

Is biodegradable plastic biodegradable?

Biodegradable plastic can be degradable. The reason is that there are certain biodegradable plastics that when exposed to microorganisms, they fail to depredate as most of them are made up of molecules that are very hard to break naturally. Specific conditions such as heat, air, moisture, and microorganisms have to be supplied to complete the degradation.

Importance of biodegradable plastics to the environment

Biodegradable plastics help in saving non-renewable energy as they are obtained from natural sources like grasses and crops.

It is environmentally friendly as it reduces the number of carbon emissions in the air, unlike traditional plastics which when melted emits a lot of carbon gases.

It also saves on energy as it requires less energy during manufacturing processes.

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