Biodegradable bags may just be more litter • Earth.com

Biodegradable bags may just be more litter

05-02-2019

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Today’s Video of the Day from the University of Plymouth reveals that biodegradable bags may not degrade more quickly in the environment than conventional plastic bags.

After three years of exposure to air, soil, and sea, the researchers found that biodegradable bags were still intact enough to hold a load of groceries.

Study co-author Professor Richard Thompson is the Head of the International Marine Litter Research Unit.

“This research raises a number of questions about what the public might expect when they see something labelled as biodegradable. We demonstrate here that the materials tested did not present any consistent, reliable and relevant advantage in the context of marine litter,” said Professor Thompson.

“It concerns me that these novel materials also present challenges in recycling. Our study emphasises the need for standards relating to degradable materials, clearly outlining the appropriate disposal pathway and rates of degradation that can be expected.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: University of Plymouth

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