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[GreenYes] Re: [Zero Waste-San Diego] bio (?) plastic bag report

Very interesting article by Brenda Platt: For those
interested in this topic there is a radio show online
that is only about 1/2 hour - 50 minutes long
(depending on show) that features guests in this
genre. On May 29th the guest will be Tracey Saxby,
Involved in a campaign to help Rossland, Whistler and
other communities become a 'plastic shopping bag-free
zone'. She would have a lot to share about how to get
'your community' to eliminate the use of free plastic
bags. She is involved with Greener Footprints. In June
or possibly in July, Teri Thomas will join in
another discussion of reuseable and recyclable
shopping bags that her company, Sage Green, sells....

Conscious Discussion Radio show airs every Tuesday at
10 a.m. PST at: -
archived shows will be available for you to hear at
your convenience. Those interested in applying to be a
guest should listen to the "test" show for

--- RicAnthony@no.address wrote:

> Brenda Platt at the Institute for Local
> Self-Reliance (_bplatt@no.address
> (mailto:bplatt@no.address) ) in part writes":
> Hi all,
> Is anyone looking at the impact that this will have
> in encouraging
> biodegradable plastic bags? I have been focusing
> most of my time the last year on
> bioplastic issues and I do not support the use of
> biodegradable plastic bags for
> shopping bags, only for collecting organics
> destined for composting
> facilities. Biodegradable bags are not even close
> to being 100% biobased. Further,
> all the biodegradable bags I know of are only
> biodegradable in commercially
> operated compost facilities, not for instance, in
> the marine environment.
> The per bag fee being proposed should apply to ALL
> single-use shopping bags
> in order to promote reusable bags. Let's not
> encourage single-use
> biodegradable plastic bags. BTW, the biodegradable
> petro-based co-polyester resin
> frequently used in these bags is made by the big
> German chemical giant, BASF.
> Let's be careful about what we are supporting.
> Also, coming down the pike is
> biodegradable PVC products. Just because a bag is
> biodegradable does not mean
> it is environmentally sound.
> Do we care about the impact on recycling film
> plastics? I'd be interested
> in a dialogue specifically on this issue.
> Biodegradable bags will become a
> contaminant in film recycling. I'm no fan of
> petro-plastics and petro bags.
> But I think this is a concern from a recycling
> perspective.
> While I am still in the process of researching
> biodegradable bags, hereâ??s
> some preliminary findings by bag company.
> First, a definition of biodegradability I wrote:
> Biodegradable plastics are plastics that can
> decompose into carbon dioxide,
> methane, water, inorganic compounds, or biomass via
> microbial assimilation
> (the enzymatic action of microorganism). To be
> considered biodegradable, this
> decomposition has to be measured by standardized
> tests, and take place
> within a specified period time, which vary according
> to the â??disposalâ?? method
> chosen. The American Society of Testing and
> Materials (ASTM) has created
> definitions on what constitutes biodegradability in
> various disposal environments.
> Plastics that meet ASTM D6400, for instance, can
> be certified as
> biodegradable and compostable in commercial
> composting facilities. In Europe the
> equivalent standardized test criteria is _EN 13432_
> . In the US, there is a biodegradability standard
> for soil (ASTM D5988), a biodegradability test
> standard for marine and fresh
> water (ASTM D6692 and D6691), one for wastewater
> treatment facilities (ASTM
> D5271), and one for anaerobic digestion (ASTM D
> 5511). Other countries have
> similar standards and certifications. Belgium is
> unique in offering â??The OK
> Compostâ?? mark, which guarantees that the product
> can be composted in home
> composting systems. While many bioplastics are
> indeed certifiable as compostable
> in commercial compost facilities, not all can be
> home composted and not all
> are biodegradable in the marine environment.
> Furthermore, a number of
> petrochemical-based polymers are certified
> biodegradable and compostable.
> Biodegradability is a directly linked to the
> chemical structure, not to the origin of
> the raw materials.
> Eco Film: No biobased content at all.
> Eco Works: Can contain between 5-70% corn based
> resin (5-70% biobased
> content, most collection bags are on the low end)
> Mater-bi (BioBag): Blend of petro-derived polyester
> and starch (the starch
> may or may not be from corn and the biobased content
> is around 20-30%,
> remaining 70-80% is petro-derived)
> Cereplast: Uses a blend of petroleum-based
> polyester, possibly some small
> PLA amounts and possibly other materials. Not sure
> about biobasd content, but
> one industry rep (not with Cereplast) told me that
> he believes their bags are â??
> more than likely 70-100% petroleum derived.â??
> [Cereplast also uses
> nanocomposites, which I have a huge problem with.
> Any community embraces the
> precautionary principle should not be promoting
> products with nanoparticles.]
> Bio-Tuf/Heritage: Blend of polyester and calcium
> carbonate filler. Donâ??t
> believe they claim any biobased content at all.
> Petro-derived polyester is
> likely 85% of the formulation, but donâ??t know
> precise.
> Mater-bi (BioSak); Blend of polyester and
> corn-based starch. They're in
> the same range of biobased content (20-30% biobased.
> 70-80% petro-derived).
> All of the above bags are certified compostable,
> but none are
> petroleum-free. Nearly all are a vast majority
> petroleum-derived content.
> Best,
> Brenda
> Brenda Platt
> Institute for Local Self-Reliance
> 927 15th Street, NW, 4th Fl
> Washington, DC 20005
> tel: 202-898-1610 ext. 230
> fax: 202-898-1612
> _bplatt@no.address (mailto:bplatt@no.address)
> _http://www.ilsr.org_ (
> ************************************** See what's
> free at

Dave & Lillian Brummet

Authors of:
- TRASH TALK - An Inspirational Guide to Saving Time and Money through Better Waste and Resource Management. (ISBN# 1-4137-2518-X ISBN-13: 978-1413725186 Publish America Inc.)
- TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING - a chronological journey through a collection of 120 poems (SBN: 1-4137-9337-1 / ISBN 13: 978-1413793376 Publish America Inc.)
- PURPLE SNOWFLAKE MARKETING - How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd (June 30, 2007)


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