Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society series Reactions explains why green plastics are not always biodegradable.
Plastics that are derived from the starches in corn or sugarcane are made from polylactic acid (PLA).
Because the sources of PLA are renewable, the plastics can be returned to the natural environment where they will be eaten by bacteria and broken down.
However, for PLA to successfully biodegrade, the conditions must be right. PLA must be heated in commercial facilities and cannot be recycled with other plastics.
Video Credit: American Chemical Society