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Feed Your Garden with Your Disposable Plastic Trash

Feed Your Garden with Your Disposable Plastic Trash

While recycling your disposable plastic trash is always a good idea, you may soon be able to compost it with your organic waste. A team of Engineering and Research Council scientists led by Dr. Charlotte Williams recently developed new polymer-based packaging that degrades harmlessly to feed your garden.

A Low Energy, Low Water Use Process

The new plastics use a degradable polymer made of oxygen-rich sugars (known as lignocellulosic biomass) from fast-growing trees and grasses or the renewable biomass from agricultural or food waste. The leading bio-renewable plastic, polylactide, requires a high-energy process that also consumes lots of water. To recycle these plastics, the polylactide they contain must be degraded in a high-temperature industrial facility. The technical challenge was to prove that the new plastic could be manufactured in large volumes. It took Williams’ team nearly three-and-a-half years to reach a yield of 80 percent in a low energy, low water use process.

A Plastic that Degrades Safely — Even in the Human Body

Since the new polymer is made from cheap materials or waste products, it offers several advantages over current petrochemical-based plastics. Being easily degradable, it has medical uses, including tissue regeneration, stitches and drug delivery. The non-toxic polymer simply decomposes in the human body, leaving only harmless by-products. The material is being considered as artificial scaffolds for tissue regeneration, and as a method for “time-releasing” drugs in the body.

Reducing the 150 Million Tons of Plastic Produced Every Year

The new packaging solves many of today’s pressing environmental and economic problems. Currently, about seven percent of the world’s oil and gas resources are used to manufacture plastics—99 percent of these are formed from fossil fuels. In fact, the world currently produces a staggering 150 million tons of plastic annually.

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Environment, Green, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Technology, , , ,

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Alex A. Kecskes

As owner/president of AK CreativeWorks, Alex A. Kecskes is a national award-winning writer/blogger/journalist who has written over 2,000 published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, careers, consumer tech, arts/entertainment and many other topics. He also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Follow Alex on twitter at https://twitter.com/TopWordsmith.

111 comments

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1:06AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

Thank you!

4:39AM PDT on Sep 15, 2014

Hmmmmm......

4:15PM PDT on Sep 7, 2014

not a good post, people may start throwing plastics in their gardens not understanding what type they have

9:01AM PDT on Sep 6, 2014

It sounds like a good intention, but I'm skeptical about its safety. I don't want plastic in my body.

8:54PM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

Interesting article, thank you!

12:34AM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

I like this kind of plastic.

3:13AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

Sounds like a fantastic invention, but be ready for the unexpected backlash. Nature invariably has one to keep our collective brainwaves in check!

1:55AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

thank you for sharing

11:21PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

nice

8:26PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

An interesting idea, but I still would prefer completely organic materials used.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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