The lie about the good plastic…

by in GERNATY August 30, 2021

There are many different types of bioplastics. Potatoes, sugar cane and corn are just a few of them, and more and more ideas are emerging. But these also need crude oil for their production. On the one hand for the fertilizer, on the other hand for the aids such as the tractor.

With the use of pesticides, the cultivation of the plants is no longer organic, with additional side effects such as excessively high nitrate levels in the groundwater. Furthermore, this production has a rather unpleasant aftertaste that plastic is made with food.

Bioplastics are divided into two groups:

  1. bio-based plastics
  2. biodegradable plastics

The bio-based plastics mostly consist of polyethylene (PE) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This plastic saves crude oil and saves CO2, it is also very stable and durable, “unfortunately”. This makes this type of bioplastic just as damaging to the environment as normal plastic. In most cases, the bio-based plastic requires a complex and energy-intensive cultivation and is not biodegradable.

The second group is “biodegradable plastic”. With this plastic, the starting material is irrelevant. The only thing that counts is that at least 90% are biodegradable and that can only be achieved with fossil resources. A DIN certification stated that the plastic had to be 90% decomposed within twelve weeks. However, this composting required certain conditions that the compost cannot achieve in normal households.
This worked quite well in modern composting plants. There, organic waste decomposes in four weeks. The bags for the organic waste are problematic, however, because they take significantly longer. The Federal Environment Agency also found the bags made of bioplastics to be no alternative.
The problem in the second group is that normal citizens cannot easily determine the difference to normal plastic and thus the entire recycling chain would be difficult and again very time-consuming.

Bioplastic is basically just a marketing point and is not a real alternative.

Plastic remains plastic – no matter which nice “green” text is used to decorate it.