Plastic has become an important aspect in our lives, can you imagine what kind of care you would get in a hospital if we didn’t have plastic? Some historians are saying that this age will be known as the plastic age. The next time you go to the store take a look around and see if you can find products that don’t have plastic. As important as plastic is to our lives it has also demonstrated some negative side effects and there isn’t any one perfect answer for solving plastic pollution.
Here in the U.S. recycling rates for plastic is less than 30 percent which means a lot of plastic is ending up in a landfill. Many other countries do a much better job of recycling then we do here in the U.S., and our recycling rate isn’t going to improve until the recycling industry develops markets for recycled materials.
Many companies are trying to do something about plastic pollution and are developing more environmentally friendly plastics. There are basically three types of plastics which are considered to be more environmentally friendly which are: Compostable, Degradable and Biodegradable plastics.
Compostable plastics are common
ly called Polylactic Acid (PLA) are made from plants. Here is the U.S. most PLA is made from corn. PLA is compostable but must be processed by a commercial composting facility. There aren’t many commercial composting facilities so most PLA will end up in a garbage dump. PLA doesn’t biodegrade quickly so once it finds its way into a landfill it will remain there for a long time.
Degradable plastics degrade through photo degradation and oxygen degradation isn’t biodegradable plastic, they are degradable plastics. Degradable plastic breaks down (degrades) into smaller and smaller pieces until they are too small to see. The plastic doesn’t biodegrade; it just gets too small to see.
The third type of plastic is a truly biodegradable plastic, and will biodegrade leaving behind biogases and humus. A recently introduced biodegradable plastic is the ENSO biodegradable plastic bottle with EcoPure. The ENSO plastic bottle is standard Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic with EcoPure G2 additive. When placed in a microbial environment, the ENSO bottle will attract microbes which consume plastic in either an anaerobic (no oxygen) or aerobic (with oxygen) environment.
There isn’t any one perfect answer that will solve plastic pollution. However, we are working toward a solution that will help.