Looks like another consumer is starting to see the reality of the issues with traditional plastics. I find it interesting that the consumer sees such a issue with the biodegradable pellet option which claims to break down in around a year? A year is a heck of a lot faster than 500-1000+ years. Unfortunately they did not list what type of “biodegradable” plastic pellet the store offers. I am curious in what environmental conditions it will actually break down in. In this consumers particular situation they want plastic pellets that will degrade in your yard/grass/dirt, are super strong, and biodegrade FAST;less than a year fast. There needs to be a balance between consumer responsibility and companies environmental responsibility. Check out the article below and let me know what you think in the comment box!
Plastic Pellets from Play Guns Could Cause Lasting Environmental Harm
An Oakdale Environmental Management Commission member started researching the issue after finding hundreds of the tiny BBs in his yard while lifting sod.
By Patty Busse
When Oakdale resident Keith Miller’s son played war games with an airsoft gun occasionally when he was younger, Miller said he didn’t think much about the small, plastic pellets it spit out.
But when he started lifting some sod in his yard recently to expand a plant bed and found hundreds of the pellets in his grass—the leftovers from numerous neighborhood games—the Oakdale Environmental Management Commission chair started doing some research.
He found that the pellets can be toxic to animals if eaten, and don’t break down in the environment, he said.
“They’ll be there for centuries,” he said at Oakdale’s Environmental Management Commission meeting last week. He said he probably has thousands in his yard, which isn’t surprising when you consider there are rapid-fire automatic airsoft guns on the market that can easily shoot hundreds of pellets in a minute.
There are biodegradable pellets available for the guns—Oakdale’s Sports Authority sells them—but they have downsides, too. They’re two or three times the cost of the plastic ones, and they still last in the environment for about year, he said.
Miller and other environmental commissioners agreed to research the issue more to determine what, if anything, the city should do to limit environmental harm. Recommended solutions could range from an educational campaign to further restrictions on where people can use airsoft guns, Miller said.
Although shooting BB or pellet guns with metal ammunition isn’t allowed in Oakdale, airsoft guns can be used on private property as long as they’re only shot at willing participants, said Oakdale Police Department Capt. Jack Kettler. Because the airsoft BBs are plastic rather than metal, he said, they are less dangerous and unlikely to break the skin.
Oakdale law prohibits using the guns on public property, he said.
“We had issues with kids using them in the parks and alarming people,” he said. Some of the guns are made to look and feel so realistic, that the Oakdale Police Department uses them in training drills, he said.
Some cities—such as Maplewood—prohibit using the guns within the city limits. Miller said he planned to bring more information on the issue to the environmental commission’s next meeting on Nov. 21.