We all know that plastic is not only a popular, versatile product in today’s world, but that it also has no place in nature and is a big cause of pollution, clogging our rivers and oceans, choking birds and fish and generally hurting our environment. With this knowledge, there has been strong public pressure for consumers and businesses to look to plastic alternatives that are environmentally friendly, including compostable plastic and bioplastics.
The 3 most commonly used alternatives to plastic cutlery are:
- Biodegradable Plastics
- Recycled Plastics
Biodegradable plastics, often referred to as photodegradable or oxydegradable, are plastics that can be decomposed by the action of living organisms, most commonly, bacteria. Biodegradable plastics are made of petrochemical plastics, which typically break down into harmful substances that are not suitable for composting. These can leave behind a toxic residue as well.
Recycled plastics are plastic made from recycled plastic materials. In other words, products that are recycled into something new. While this is a great alternative to keeping a product out of the landfill, there are still resources that go into the process of collecting and recycling an item.
Bioplastics are plastics derived from natural materials, such as corn starch and sugar cane. PLAs, made from polylactic acid, also known as polylactide, are now often used to make food containers. While bioplastics are sometimes compostable, often times they require high temperatures in industrial scale and will therefore not break down in conventional landfills