Plastic pollution is a severe environmental conundrum that the world is grappling with. Over the years, plastic materials have increased exponentially, resulting in massive amounts of waste that natural processes cannot decompose. Biodegradable plastics have emerged as a potential solution to this problem.
Organic materials that can decompose naturally without causing harm to the environment make up the main components of biodegradable plastics. Aside from trying to replace destructive, non-decomposing plastics, we discuss the seven benefits of biodegradable plastics more.
1. Biodegradable Plastics Are Environmentally Friendly
One of the most significant benefits of biodegradable plastics is that they are environmentally friendly. Biodegradable plastics consist of natural materials such as cornstarch, vegetable fats, and oils, which are renewable resources.
Microorganisms can break these materials down into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass, which the environment can reuse. Unlike traditional plastics, biodegradable plastics do not release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, making them a more sustainable option.
2. Biodegradable Plastics Reduce Waste in Landfills
Biodegradable plastics can help reduce the amount of waste in landfills. Traditional plastics take hundreds of years to decompose, meaning they take up valuable space in landfills.
Biodegradable plastics, on the other hand, decompose much faster, reducing the amount of space needed in landfills. Which, of course, can translate into less need for making space for millions of hectares of garbage dumps.
3. Biodegradable Plastics Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Biodegradable plastics can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Traditional plastics use fossil fuels during production, which are non-renewable resources. Making conventional plastics releases a significant amount of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
On the other hand, biodegradable plastics almost exclusively utilize renewable resources, and their production emits fewer greenhouse gasses. Additionally, biodegradable plastics break down into natural components, which plants can absorb, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
4. Biodegradable Plastics Are Recyclable
Biodegradable plastics can be recycled, just like traditional plastics. However, the process of recycling biodegradable plastics is more straightforward and more energy-efficient. Conventional plastics must be sorted by type and then melted down and reformed.
Biodegradable plastics, however, can be broken down into their natural components and reused to make new products. That process reduces the amount of energy and resources needed to recycle plastics.
5. Biodegradable Plastics Can Reduce Marine Pollution
Marine pollution is a significant problem globally, and traditional plastics are a significant contributor to this problem.
Biodegradable plastics can help to reduce marine pollution by breaking it down into natural components that are not harmful to marine life. Additionally, biodegradable plastics are less likely to end up in the ocean because they break down faster, reducing their time in the environment.
6. Biodegradable Plastics Are Versatile
Biodegradable plastics are versatile and can be used in various applications. They can be made into packaging materials, disposable cutlery, and even medical implants.
Biodegradable plastics are just as strong and durable as traditional plastics, making them an excellent alternative for many applications.
7. Biodegradable Plastics Can Promote a Circular Economy
Biodegradable plastics can promote a circular economy by reducing waste and creating a closed-loop system. In a circular economy, waste is minimized, and resources are reused and recycled.
Biodegradable plastics can help to create a closed-loop system by breaking them down into natural components that can be used to make new products. This reduces the amount of waste in landfills and promotes a more sustainable system.
Biodegradable plastics offer several benefits over traditional plastics. They are environmentally friendly, reduce waste in landfills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, can be recycled, reduce marine pollution, are versatile, and promote a circular economy. Biodegradable plastics are an excellent alternative to traditional plastics and can help reduce plastic waste's environmental impact.
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