Are Biodegradable Plastic Bags Recyclable?
Whether you are concerned about the environment, a person who wants to help others, or simply have a love of recycling, you should definitely consider asking the question, "are biodegradable plastic bags recyclable?" These bags are not only recyclable but are also compostable bags, a much better choice than the traditional plastic bags that are not only non-recyclable but also littered, making it harder for the environment to clean up after them.
Compostable plastics decompose faster
Typically, biodegradable plastic bags decompose more quickly than conventional plastic trash bags. However, new research has cast doubt on the claim that these bags are environmentally friendly.
A study by the University of Plymouth examined five different types of single use bags. They tested them in a variety of environments, including soil, seawater and open air. It found that none of the eco-friendly bags decomposed in all environments. They did not decompose as quickly as they were advertised to.
The study measured the surface area lost over time and the chemical structure of each bag. They also measured tensile strength and surface texture. It was found that the most durable of the five bags decomposed in 27 months in the soil environment, while the others deteriorated much faster.
A standard plastic trash bag can take hundreds of years to break down. Unlike biodegradable trash bags, they are not made from plant-based materials and are not compatible with many recycling facilities.
Oxo-biodegradable plastics are recyclable
Several scientific studies have been conducted on the environmental effects of Oxo-biodegradable plastics. However, there are some limitations to their use and their disposal.
The process of making bioplastics requires the use of fossil fuels. This results in an increase in greenhouse gases. In addition, these plastics may also be toxic to wildlife. Moreover, they do not have a long service life.
Another disadvantage is that they may be toxic to worm farms. This is because they can break down into micro-plastics. These micro-plastics can persist in the food chain. Despite these problems, oxo-biodegradable plastic bags can be recycled as part of the regular waste stream. They can also be incinerated for energy recovery.
The amount of litter and marine litter around the world is a growing problem. This has prompted brand owners to rethink the way they dispose of plastics. Many people are looking for plastics that can be recycled without increasing CO2 emissions.
They're more likely to be littered
Unlike traditional plastics, biodegradable plastics can decompose into water and carbon dioxide (CO2) in as little as 20 to 45 days. While they are certainly better for the environment, they aren't exactly easy to dispose of.
Biodegradable plastics aren't the only recyclable materials available on the market. There are also oxo-degradable plastics, which are manufactured from cornstarch, petro-chemicals, and other natural materials. These types of plastics are considered to be safer for the environment, although they are still prone to littering.
A study conducted by the Progressive Bag Alliance, which is based in the U.S., compared paper bags with 30 percent recycled fibers to a comparable number of polyethylene (PE) grocery bags. They discovered that HDPE bags were more environmentally friendly, producing less acid rain emissions. They also found that HDPE bags were better for the environment because they used fewer resources.
Some manufacturers claim their product is the greenest and they use a symbol to indicate it. They also use symbols to show off their product's quality. Some manufactures like Novamont have an eco-friendly credential to their name. They have a line of compostable carrier bags that are made from a starch-based plastic called Mater-Bi.
They're not a simple solution in the sea
Despite the growing interest in bio-based plastics, the problem remains. These materials do not break down in the environment. They remain in the environment, depleting resources such as land, water and fossil fuels, and emit effluence such as climate change, toxic chemicals and air pollution.
There are a number of indicators that can be used to measure the environmental sustainability of biodegradable plastics. These include monitoring technical contamination and resource depletion. These can also be analyzed with the help of a capital strategy, which is a theoretical approach that aims to measure shared resources.
For instance, a reusable grocery biodegradable bags made from a biodegradable material would be better than the conventional bags, which take hundreds of years to break down. This is because a reusable grocery bag is more durable, which means it could be reused 11 times before it is no longer usable. However, a reusable grocery bag is not an easy solution in the sea, because the marine environment quickly covers the bags.