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[GreenYes] Re: Apparently they can make plastic out of anything...who need oil? :)

Christine - thanks for posting the article. I have some issues with
what they present:

1) Why would anyone want plastics to degrade in landfills? Such
degradation will produce organic acids that will leach heavy metals
out of the other waste in the landfills, and will also produce
greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. If non-
degradable plastics end up in landfills, they sequester the carbon in
such a way that it is not converted to a greenhouse gas and released.

2) Where did the figure that 12% of plastic packaging ends up in
landfills comes from. It probably closer to 12% of plastic packaging
getting recycled, not 12% ending up in landfills

3) It does not seem very efficient environmentally to feed corn to
chickens and then use substantial parts of the chicken or its eggs to
make plastics. As is true of eating, it seems much better to make
plastic or other packaging lower on the food chain.

Peter Spendelow
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

On Apr 5, 8:48 am, <Christine.Mc...@no.address> wrote:
> OK - now I've heard everything!
> >Oh, Chicken Feathers! How to Reduce Plastic Waste
> >Andrea Thompson
> >LiveScience Staff Writer
> >
> >Wed Apr 4, 9:20 AM ET
> >Poultry farmers could soon be the source of much more
> >than buffalo wings and omelets. Chickens byproducts
> >could be used to make biodegradable plastics and cheap
> >energy, two new studies find.
> >Many types of animal waste and plants, including corn
> >and soybeans, have been proposed as alternative
> >sources of plastics and fuel, and demand for them is
> >on the rise.
> >So one researcher has turned to agricultural waste,
> >such as poultry feathers and eggs that didn't pass
> >inspection, which are currently used in low-value
> >animal feed or simply thrown away, to develop more
> >environmentally friendly plastics.
> >"Twelve percent of all plastic packaging ends up in
> >landfills because only a fraction is recycled," said
> >Virginia Tech researcher Justin Barone, who is heading
> >up the agricultural waste effort. "Once in a landfill,
> >it doesn't biodegrade. The challenge is, how can we
> >create a simpler plastic bag or a bottle that will
> >biodegrade?"
> >Today, packaging adds 29 million tons of
> >non-biodegradable plastic waste to landfills every
> >year, according to the U.S. Environmental
> >Protection Agency,
> >Plastics from biomass (animal waste and plant
> >materials), like some recently developed to dissolve
> >in seawater, are made the same way as petroleum-based
> >plastics, are actually cheaper to manufacture and meet
> >or exceed most performance standards. But they lack
> >the same water resistance or longevity as conventional
> >plastics, said Barone, who presented his research at
> >the March 29 American Chemical Society National
> >Meeting in Chicago.
> >Adding polymers created with keratin, a protein that
> >makes hair, nails and feathers strong, may improve the
> >strength and longevity of the plastics made from
> >chicken feathers and eggs. Other modifications to the
> >polymer, such as adding chicken fat as a lubricant,
> >should help the polymer to be processed faster and
> >smell better.
> >Another scientist has developed a furnace system that
> >converts poultry litter into a fuel that can be used
> >to heat chicken houses.
> >The fuel, made from poultry waste and rice hulls and
> >wood shavings once used as chicken bedding, can be
> >gathered from hen houses, stored on-site, and put into
> >a heat-generating furnace, reducing farmers' energy
> >costs by as much as 80 percent.
> >While the fuel would reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
> >it does produce an ash that could hurt sensitive
> >watersheds if dumped there, said Tom Costello of the
> >University of Arkansas, who led work to develop the
> >furnace.- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

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