Biodegradable

Biodegradability is often used as buzzword when speaking about alternatives to plastic. While biodegradable technically means that a product or material will completely break down and decompose into non-harmful natural elements after disposal, this is not always the case with biodegradable plastics. Firstly, many biodegradable plastics do not readily decompose but rather will require a specific facility armed with the capacity to create specific conditions for biodegradability – often very high temperatures. Most waste management facilities do not have the equipment needed to process biodegradable plastic properly. Secondly, depending on their biodegradability timeline, they can still cause harm to living creatures until they decompose. Finally, many biodegradable plastics are made of normal (petrochemical) plastics and are simply created with additives to cause them to break down in the presence of light and oxygen (oxy-degradable), therefore meaning that they can leave behind a toxic substance residue when broken down.