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Biodegradable plastics offer new options for disposal

ANI  |  Washington D.C. [USA] 

How easy would life become if the you threw in your household bin start producing power for your home?

Researchers have taken a step toward this futuristic scenario by showing that certain blends of can decompose under diverse conditions.

waste pollution is a global environmental problem, particularly in oceans, where debris can harm or kill sea animals and birds in various ways. Despite increased levels of recycling in many countries, most plastic waste still ends up in landfills or the

Scientists have developed biodegradable plastics, but they often lack the flexibility, strength or toughness of conventional Blends of different can offer improved characteristics, but their environmental fate is uncertain.

The researchers studied the fates of 15 different or blends under managed conditions, such as and anaerobic digestion, as well as unmanaged environments, including soil and fresh or marine water. Polylactic acid (PLA) is one of the best-selling on the market, but it requires high temperatures for breakdown and is not home-compostable.

Surprisingly, a blend of PLA and (PCL) degraded completely to carbon dioxide, biomass, and water under typical home-conditions. Many of the and blends that were tested decomposed under conditions of anaerobic digestion, a process that can produce biogas, and all degraded with industrial composting.

The researchers say that biodegradable plastic blends could create new possibilities for managing plastic waste.

However, only two plastics, (PHB) and thermoplastic starch (TPS), broke down completely under all soil and water conditions. Therefore, are not a panacea for plastic pollution, and they must be managed carefully after they leave the consumer, the researchers say.

The full findings appeared in the journal- & Technology.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 31 2018. 21:00 IST
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