Apparently biodegradable plastics do not break down as easily as they were supposed to do so in erstwhile times.
According to a UN report on the matter biodegradable plastics do not break down under pressure as was the common opinion in previous times. They still pose problems despite all the commotion about them being an ideal solution to marine pollution.
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Plastic bags and empty bottles tend to break down yet the disintegration is so slow as to take years and years to reach completion. This is cause for concern among marine conservationists.
The UN report categorically said that such solutions were fake measures and did not solve the crisis that was extant in the world today. These so-called “lean and green” plastics were thought to be a blessing since they easily replaced their more harmful normal run-of-the-mill plastics which formed hills of waste matter in the world’s waterways.
Yet such a scenario has turned out to be totally false in nature. They are just as harmful. Something which is too good to be true probably is not true, as the saying goes.
The global crisis we are facing right now will not be allayed by biodegradable plastics. Many of these plastics will not disintegrate unless a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius is reached. Such conditions are hardly reached in the ocean environment.
Since these plastics do not float for long, they sink after awhile. Thus the UV rays simply have no effect on them. They do not break down in the final analysis. It is UV rays that lead to a proper degradation and lysis of the plastics that are biodegradable. Once such conditions do not hold anymore, the process becomes extremely difficult to accomplish.
The result is that mountains of waste flotsam and jetsam are created in the ocean and these piles of human garbage clog up the system. Such a scenario has become a headache of sorts for environmentalists and marine life conservationists.
The ocean waves spread these biodegradable plastics throughout the world thus leading to a SNAFU of sorts. The microplastic beads even get into the water supply used by humans.
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The results are hardly pretty. Steps will have to be taken to find even better alternatives than these so-called biodegradable plastics. Only then will the environmental equation be resolved amicably and peacefully for the sake of the earth’s biodiversity.