Waste Disposal Problem
With the overconsumption of resources and irresponsible creation of plastic, our world has a huge waste problem. Did you know that every single piece of plastic made to date still exists in some shape or form? The full decomposition of plastic takes approximately 450 years, but that is only the best case scenario if we allow oxygen to do its thing. In landfills, it normally takes about 1000 years for plastic to decompose, since garbage just piles one on top of the other, not allowing for aerobic conditions. Landfills aren’t the only issue. The UN recently released a report about how oceans around the globe are filling up with garbage. One way this occurs is when people littre, not only by directly throwing waste into the ocean, but also through rivers. In fact, most garbage in the ocean comes from rivers and, due to ocean currents, garbage gets piled into “garbage patches” in the water. Scientists have said that one of these patches is as large as the state of Texas.
So waste disposal is an urgent current environmental problem.
Biodegradable or Compostable?
With more awareness being built on this matter, people at home and in their businesses are trying to make the right choices towards which products they buy to both minimize waste and the use of plastic. With this, a new trend of “biodegradable” and “compostable” items have surfaced and it may sound like a great solution. Items that look and work like plastic but are not considered plastic and are able to decompose like organic foods, great! But hold up, did you know that biodegradable is not the same as compostable? Although these two terms are usually used interchangeably, they are actually quite different:
From my research, here are some local companies that create compostable plastic (and paper) materials that have ASTM D6400 standard for compostability: