The stakes of the plastic industry
According to a 2016 joint study by the Nova Institute and European Bioplastics, 320 million tons of plastic are produced each year. These petroleum-based plastic objects, even if they are recycled, usually end up buried in landfills and degrade so slowly that they accumulate and are found all over the environment. In the last years, innovations in the plastics industry have mainly targeted two objectives: to make us independent from petroleum (bioplastics biosourced) and to slow down the growth of plastic waste generated (recycling). Unfortunately, these innovations can not eradicate the problem of accumulation of plastic waste or ensure the future of our upcoming generations.
Recycling to reduce annual production of plastics
Recycling is a good solution, but solves only part of the problem. By recycling, we reduce the annual production of plastic needed to meet our needs. But even recycled plastics have a limited useful life and one day or another, they end up in landfills.
Bioplastics, a partial solution to the challenges of the industry
Bioplastics include biosourced and / or biodegradable materials. According to the 2016 report by European Bioplastics and Nova Institute, in 2017 less than 30% of bioplastics would be biodegradable. Some explanations for the neophytes:
- Bio-based bioplastics to reduce our dependence on petroleum: Bioplastics are not made from petroleum and therefore meet one of the two major challenges of the plastic industry by reducing our dependence on petroleum. On the other hand, the molecule developed is often identical to the one produced from petroleum, therefore as toxic and non-degradable as the previous one.
- Biodegradable bioplastics to reduce the accumulation of plastic: To be biodegradable, a plastic must be able to decompose into various elements under the action of living organisms naturally present in the environment. Neither the time required for degradation nor the chemical properties of the final result are currently regulated. So even a plastic presented as biodegradable can take several or even hundreds of years to degrade in the environment and it can even have a toxic impact on the environment.
Composting, the viable long-term solution
As we speak, the sustainable solution that avoids the accumulation of plastics is composting, a process in which compostable plastics are transformed into basic elements that have become available and beneficial for the environment. But under what conditions? Make sure that these so-called compostable plastics are actually compostable, that they meet specific standards for industrial composting sites, or better, that they are compostable in your compost bin at home. This is the solution proposed by BOSK. We believe that to reduce the accumulation of plastic waste, the sustainable long-term solution is to produce compostable plastic that meets recognized compostability standards.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GLOBAL PLASTIC WASTE PROBLEM
We share articles, report and informations that might interest you if you want to learn more about the global plastic accumulation and its solutions.
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