jeudi 7 juillet 2011

Bioplastic News: Prosperity? Eco-friendly? Magically disappear?

Bioplastics projects set to prosper

The recession has been a wake-up call for chemical producers to push bioplastics development, resulting in a more positive outlook.

With the price of oil and petrochemicals soaring, bioplastics have become an increasingly viable proposition. As a result, the next decade will see a fundamental shift in global polymer production, with a group of new bio-based capacities being brought on stream.

New forecasts from industry association European Bioplastics suggest that global bioplastics output will breach the 1m tonne/year mark this year, with production to more than double from 2010-2015. The study shows that bioplastics will total 1.7m tonnes/year within the next four years, up from around 700,000 tonnes/year in 2010

Compostable cups eco-friendly?

Western purchased 133,000 compostable cups from Eco-Products from September 2010 through June 2011 for $11,280.36, according to transaction record obtained from Paul Cocke, director of University Communications.

When put in landfills, biodegradable products are not necessarily more environmentally friendly according to a study published in “Environmental Science & Technology,” in May 2011. The research found biodegradable products are releasing large amounts of methane as they quickly break down in landfills. The study was designed to provide guidance to manufacturers on environmental performance during landfill disposal that reflects U.S. landfill infrastructure, according to the study. Researchers used a landfill life-cycle model to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from biodegradable materials in landfills.

Biodegradable Products are not Major contributors ro Landfill Methane emissions

Biodegradable products are not major contributors to methane emissions from landfills, as claimed in the Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) article.

Finally, the BPI shares Dr. Barlaz’s concern for the growing number of “biodegradable” claims, for products that are typically landfilled. Many of these claims are spurred by additive suppliers that would like consumers to think that it is OK to throw products in the trash, as they will somehow magically disappear. The National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (NAD) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have repeated determined that these types of claims are misleading.

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