Plastic Bottle Controversy in California

with 3 comments

Can plastic ever be considered biodegradable or compostable? In California different groups have different answers to this question. ENSO Plastics, a supplier of plastic bottles, uses a biodegradable additive in their plastic bottles that they say helps them break down in a landfill environment. Recycling advocates in California aren’t buying it though, calling them out on the fact that plastic still takes centuries to break down.

Wracking our brains and spending millions in the laboratory to develop a perfectly compostable, 100% biodegradable bottle sounds like a lot of work. Wouldn’t a simpler solution be to steer towards re-usables?

(image: Earth911)

Written by jmalsky

November 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Food for Thought, News

3 Responses

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  1. It is still better for there to be less environmentally harmful disposable products. Unfortunately, not all Americans will give up their current lifestyles and carry around reusable utensils and cups like I do. The green revolution must find solutions for non-purists because the environment will be in a much worse place if it doesn’t.

    • Still, as long as any disposable option is available, it’s the path of least resistance for consumers who share our natural tendency toward ease. It’s hard to figure whether that’s productive long-term if there’s a real problem on our hands.

      Brian Nunnery

      November 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm

  2. Solutions to these kinds of issues are very complex. Mr. Bildsten is on the right track, there has never been a solution to a complex problem like the one we face that is an “over-night fix-all” solution. We need solutions that step us in the direction of solving the issue. ENSO plastics is one such step. And we also need others, such as bio-plastics derived from non-fossil fuels and than use minimal energy during processing and manufacturing.

    We also need less consumption and less population growth in the world. We also need more participation from consumers to properly dispose of any material into an environment that can reprocess it and before that can happen on a large scale and we need the infrastructures in place to accept and process the material.

    Some would suggest that there is a simiple fix; start using reusable containers. I would agree that this is another step in the right direction but realistically, this will barely make a dent in the global scope of the plastic pollution issue we face.

    Danny Clark

    November 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

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