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[GreenYes] Re: Can you feed the stuff to the fish?



I just wanted to clarify that bio-based, biodegradable plastics are not
really a zero-waste solution. They still involve a lot of waste. In
some specific instances, bio-based plastics may be the best option to
serve a particular need, but in other cases they are not.

Remember that when you compost bio-based plastics, you lose all of the
energy and material inputs, including lots of petroleum used as fuel to
make the fertilizers and grow the crops, and you don't even get any
good humus out of them. Bio-based plastics like PLA break down
entirely to carbon dioxide and water, and they do not have any lignins
or other complex organic molecules which are needed to make humus.

A number of non-profit groups including EcoCycle (and Eric has already
commented on this thread) are actively point that out now concerning
PLA being used to make water bottles. Recycling or reusing PLA bottles
has substantial potential for resource savings. Composting PLA bottles
does not, and in fact could be considered 100% waste instead of
zero-waste.

Even for cutlery, bio-based plastics are generally not considered the
best solution. Reusable cutlery, such as metal forks and spoons, are
much more "zero waste" as long as you can recapture and re-use a high
proportion of the cutlery. It is only when it is impractical to
recapture the cutlery for reuse that a compostable cutlery might be
considered the next-best option. They may be better than traditional
plastic cutlery made from polystyrene. But they is not zero waste....

Peter Spendelow
--------------------
Justin Stockdale wrote:

... Is no one concerned that these plastics stand to sanctify the
production of gmo's as environmentally preferable simply because they
fit nicely into the zero waste framework?


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