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Web Date: March 18, 2015

Some Biodegradable Plastics Don’t Live Up To Their Claims

Environment: Plastics with additives meant to promote biodegradation don’t decompose any faster than those without them
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Sustainability
News Channels: Environmental SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: plastics, polymers, biodegradable, oxo-degradable, compost, waste management

From bread bags to beverage bottles, many plastics now contain additives designed to make the materials biodegradable. But a new study shows that plastics made with such additives do not biodegrade in the environment significantly faster than those without the compounds (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, DOI: 10.1021/es504258u).

Plastics, such as the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) used to make bags and the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) found in water bottles, can remain intact for years in . . .

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