Here's my two cents worth on compostable plastics. Initially, I was very excited, but on investigation, I have changed my thinking. Here's why.
1) Most compostable plastics are starch based. Starch is a monomer and any "plastic" type product is a polymer. The process of changing that monomer to a polymer is just as toxic and environmentally costly using corn or potato starch as is changing oil into plastic. So what's the advantage? Only that you are using a renewable resource as oppose to a non renewable.
2) Look who is developing these plastic alternatives? Cargill and Dow Chemical. Enough said.
3) Well, not quite enough. Lets add a few words. Genetically modified crops. Follow the GMO corn trail.....
4) From BRING's viewpoint, stressing reusable products over disposable, these compostable plastics are another feel good product. They dupe people into believing that choosing to use a thing once and dispose of it is OK. Aaargh is what I have to say about that.
5) To sum up, compostable plastics are about keeping the same old same old going. They do not substantially alter the environmental picture and may in fact delay the changes in approach that need to be made. Using farm land to grow genetically modified crops to manufacture a product at great environmental cost so we can feel better about chucking out the packaging delivering our burger and fries does not do it for me.
OK, I'm done ranting!
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