I’ve been thinking about looking more into swapping out more of my plastic use, with better alternatives. So never buying plastic toothbrushes, as I have already swrapped to bamboo. And metal straws. And shampoo bottles. Reusable produce bags and shopping bags. It’s definitively a start of something. I began to look into Biodegradable bags for trash, but found that they are not so good after all? Made me a bit frustrated actually…Don’t really know what’s right or wrong? Found out it’s “debatable”….what to do?
This is from Plasticplace.com ;
1. A high percentage of biodegradable plastic ends up in landfills, where nothing biodegrades.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires landfills to block out air, moisture and sunlight – the crucial elements for proper biodegradation.
That means that if your bag is like most “biodegradable” bags, it will just sit there, unable to decompose.
And while some companies tout having a biodegradable additive (a special film) on their biodegradable bags that lets them decompose completely, that claim has been challenged in court and still lacks consensus.
2. Biodegradable plastic bags typically can’t be recycled with other plastic items.
It all has to do with those little numbers you see on plastic bottles.
A No. 1 and a No. 2 can be recycled together, but throw in a biodegradable bag – a No. 7 plastic – and you’ll contaminate the whole “recyclable” load.
“If a No. 7 plastic is mixed in and melted down with plastics labeled No. 1 or No. 2, it would contaminate the entire load because the chemical make-up of [biodegradable bags] are so different.”
It’s like what happened when I was eight years old and my mother washed my white baseball pants with the colors. They came out a nauseating purple. I have the photos to prove it.
3. Biodegradable bags can harm the environment.
Yes, you read that right. When biodegradable trash bags wind up in landfills, decomposition happens at a much slower rate than if the trash were exposed to air, light and moisture.
As a result, methane gas gets released into the atmosphere. In fact, pound for pound, methane contributes 20 times more to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.
So, what’s the eco-minded person to do?
Simple: Buy compostable trash bags. While the terms biodegradable and compostable are often used interchangeably.
So okay…Don’t really know what to do….I’m sleeping on this…Cyprus is just in the beginning when it comes to recycling and plastic use…and compostable? Hmmm. It can be frustrating when the system is in the beginning.