Types of Biodegradable Plastics

Types of Biodegradable Plastics
Many products today can be made from some type of biodegradable plastic, from eating utensils to product packaging. This plastic can break down without damaging the environment, instead of taking up room in landfills or polluting the earth and oceans.
While not perfect, the use of biodegradable plastic is becoming more widespread. As technology continues to progress, more and more companies are turning to these types of plastics.
Different Types of Biodegradable Plastic
There are several different kinds of these plastics available to manufacturers today. While you probably can’t tell which type of biodegradable plastic you’re using, you can still find it interesting to learn about what is available and being used.
Bio- or starch-based plastics, are made from corn, soy or potatoes. These plastics meet standards set by the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM) for composting, breaking down 60 percent or more within 180 days or less. In order to do this, bio-based plastics need water, heat and aeration.
Examples of products include:
  • Spudware: It looks the same as traditional plastic flatware, but unlike its conventional counterpart, Spudware is compostable.This product was used during the 2005 X-games(extreme sports event). Made from potato starch, Spudware is available in forks, spoons and knives.
Thermal-Based Film
Thermal-based biodegradable plastic has an additive that causes it to break down when exposed to high temperatures. This plastic is safe to use for food containers since it is non-toxic. Most times, this product can also be recycled.
Two Types of Film
The two main types of this film are oxo- and hydro-biodegradable. The difference is that oxo- needs oxygen in order to break down while hydro- needs moisture.
  • Oxo-biodegradable plastic: This plastic is less expensive to produce since it is easy to use with machinery that currently manufactures conventional plastics. When aerated, it gradually breaks down into biodegradable fragments over a course of several months to a few years.
  • Hydro-biodegradable plastic breaks down when exposed to moisture at a faster rate than oxo-biodegradable plastic.
Additive-Based Film Combo
Another additive-based film is manufactured by Maverick Enterprises, known as Green Film™. This film degrades first into humus and then into carbon dioxide or methane and water when buried. It also:
  • Breaks down with or without aeration
  • Has no expiration date
  • Can also be recycled
Other Biodegradable Plastics
Other biodegradable plastic manufacturers include:
  • Maverick Enterprises also offers plastic trash bags ideal for recycling leaves and grass, grocery bags, food bags, forks, knives, straws and other products.
  • Environmental Technologies, Incorporated manufactures biodegradable plastics that are used to make a range of products including bags, bottles, food service items and much more.
  • Excellent Packaging & Supply carries a wide range of products. This is the place to find Spudware, sugar cane bowls and trays and many other earth friendly products.

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