Biodegradable Plastics: Are these For Real?

Plastic is just an umbrella term for the many things it could be. From the adjective itself, to the person who is faking, to those go under the knife. Plastic has its many definitions, but the one we are focusing here is the plastic everyone knows: the moldable, water-resistant synthetic product which had helped humankind for many years now. Without plastic, many inventions and discoveries might not have happened. The electronics industry itself might be set back many years without plastic. It is also used for buildings, packaging and even in the medical field.


Plastic in its first and original state, is non-biodegradable. This means that it not organic and cannot be broken down into smaller pieces for the worms to enjoy. Once it has been made, it could take for many years to a millennia before it could even be considered as degraded. This is very alarming for many people as it can cause a lot of hazards. By itself, plastic is toxic when ingested by any living thing and even a simple and small piece can kill someone. This had led everyone to believe that plastic is not a great substance and we should use something renewable plastic instead.


Lately there has been a surge of eco-friendly bags but one of the things that stood out more is the biodegradable plastic. Unlike its regular counterparts which use a lot of artificial compounds, biodegradable plastic bags are made from plant fibers. This specific type of biodegradable plastic is called bioplastic. This usually found many food related items like spoons, forks, knives, food containers and many more. These are also found to be safer to be put in your mouth because they have little to no residue. However, these bioplastics are not as durable as the usual kind because of their origin. They are not built for sustainability and longevity; instead they are used for anything that is for one-time use only.


Many have also been confused with these plastics because some of them are biodegradable at all. It can be very misleading so let us put it this way: plastics that are biodegradable usually react with bacteria before it decomposes and becomes organic. These, on the other hand, do not; Instead, they just break down into smaller pieces which can be even more harmful because it can be ingested easily. It can fit in any animals’ mouths and can even fit in your arteries. This has led to many movements to try and distinguish these plastics from others since it can affect the environment greatly.


It all boils down to proper waste management. Plastic has always helped us in achieving the many feats humanity has been involved for the last century. We must be responsible in using it so that it will not affect us adversely. It is a material which has sparked another age in industrialization, a miracle material which can be manipulated very easily to suit our needs. It is therefore our responsibility to keep it and research more on the how we can control it.



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