Problematic plastic

June 04, 2019

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BIOPLASTICS are often touted as being eco-friendly, but do they live up to the puff?

The world has formed over nine billion tonnes of plastic since the 1950s. Nearly 165 million tonnes of it has trashed our oceans, with almost nine million more entering the oceans each year.

Since only about nine per cent of plastic catches cast-off, much of the rest fouls the environment or sits in landfills, where it can take up to 500 years to decompose while leaching toxic chemicals into the ground. Outdated plastic is made from petroleum-based raw tackles.

Some say bioplastics made from 20pc or more of renewable materials could be the solution to plastic trash.

The frequently quoted advantages of bioplastic are reduced use of relic fuel resources, a smaller carbon footprint, and faster decomposition.

Bioplastic is also less lethal and does not hold biphenyl A (BPA), a hormone disrupter that is often found in outmoded plastics.

The Earth and Ecological Engineering Department, which is waged on bio plastics, trusts that equated to traditional plastics, “bio plastics are a noteworthy improvement”.

However, it turns out that oxo-biodegradable is not yet the silver bullet to our plastic problem.

Fayyaz Ashfaq
Karachi

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2019