Sustainable bioplastic won’t biodegrade

Corn-based material emits methane in landfill and add to food crisis, newspaper claims.
The Guardian newspaper has reported that Pla, a corn-based plastic product designed to compost are not suitable for landfill.
While Pla is said to offer more disposal options, the Guardian has found that it will barely break down on landfill sites, and can only be composted in the handful of anaerobic digesters which exist in Britain, but which do not take any packaging. In addition, if Pla is sent to UK recycling works in large quantities, it can contaminate the waste stream, reportedly making other recycled plastics unsaleable.
The newspaper’s environment editor, John Vidal, wrote:
Concern is mounting because the new generation of biodegradable plastics ends up on landfill sites, where they degrade without oxygen, releasing methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. This week the US national oceanic and atmospheric administration reported a sharp increase in global methane emissions last year.
Vidal also claimed that bioplastics contribute to rising food costs, saying: “Bioplastics compete for land with biofuels and food crops.” The question of rising food costs has already been blamed on biofuel production, however the press as a whole not reported the issue accurately, largely failing to note that food supplies are in decline because the European Union and the United Nations have pursued a two decade long policy of retiring land from production to arrest the fall in farm prices. The policy has gently pushed smaller farms out of business while making larger, subsidised, outfits attractive to market speculators, notably Jim Slater [video links] who pioneered corporate raiding in Britain in the 1970s, buying-up, asset-stripping and ultimately closing down well-known companies through Slater Walker, a private bank he founded with then Tory MP, Peter Walker.
Last modified on Saturday, 26 April 2008 19:31

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