Rubbish: What if not plastic?

degradable bags, bamboo cutlery, leaf plates – all this is supposed to replace outlawed plastic. But the alternatives are often not better. Particularly misleading: bioplastic.

Rubbish: What if not plastic?
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  • Page 1 — What if not plastic?
  • Page 2 — companies are in demand
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    Food, packaging, electronic waste, plastic: mankind is trashing itself. With focus on "life in throwaway mode" We follow routes of waste, show what he does with humans and animals and how to avoid m better.

    The people of European Union are producing mountains of plastic waste: Last year alone, 26 million tonnes of it fell. Less than 30 percent of this waste is recycled: 39 percent are burned, and 31 percent land on landfill sites. A total of 150,000 to 500,000 tonnes of plastic waste from EU swim again every year at some point in seas (European Commission, 2018). This is especially fatal for sea creatures: turtles, seals and dolphins get tangled in plastic carriers of Dosensixpacks. Seabirds starve because y incorrectly hold plastic for food. By way, micro-plastics pollute our oceans to deep sea. Over food, small particles end up on plate and in a next step in human body land. The consequences for health are not yet clear. However, reputation of plastic is now bad. At last.

    The EU has also recognised that. The discussed straw ban was only beginning. The EU wants to significantly reduce consumption of plastics in population. At same time, recycling is to become a profitable business and to stop waste of seas – at least in new strategy for plastics. Until 2030, all plastic packaging should be recyclable on EU market, consumption of disposable plastics reduced and deliberate use of micro-plastics Limited. Part of strategy: Bioplastic.

    The term bioplastic is basically quite confusing. Frederik Wurm, chemist

    Bioplastic is considered alternative to conventional plastic. But what does that mean? "The term is basically quite confusing," says Frederik Wurm. The chemist is a group leader at Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. There he works among or things on biodegradable plastic. The term bioplastic is not protected and refore not clear, says Wurm. On one hand, a plastic can be meant, which is obtained from a biological substance. On or hand, it can be a substance that is produced artificially, but decomposed in environment under certain conditions. "Those who think of bioplastics automatically think that y are doing something good for environment," says chemist. But that is not automatically case. Plastics derived from plants are often as durable as conventional plastics. If you land in environment, you cause similar problems.

    Plastic in sea-first we poison ocean, n ourselves millions of tons of plastic land each year in sea and damage animals and nature. As micro particles, we brea it in too. A explanatory video © Photo: Youtube.com/cheeseandjamsandwich bioplastic is often not recognized in sorting plants

    Who thinks that he can easily use bioplastic on his own compost heap or throw it into nature so that it decomposes, is mistaken. The materials can usually only be composted under specific pressure and temperature, as y are in a professional composting plant. Only y need longer than or compost products, which usually decompose in less than a month – and refore longer than for composting process.

    Lara Malberger

    Freelance author, time online

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    In addition, bioplastics are often not recognized as such in sorting plants. In end, refore, material usually ends up in waste incineration as well as residual. Throwing it into yellow ton is also not a solution: like conventional plastic, material cannot be recycled so far. "In Germany, such substances usually make no sense," says Wurm. It is often better to use conventional plastics because y are at least partially recyclable. The life cycle of a multi-use plastic is better than that of a uniquely used bioplastic.

    Or substances, which at first glance appear to be more environmentally friendly than plastic, are not. "It's more about how often you use a product," says Wurm. Buying a paper bag and using it only once, for example, is no better than using a plastic bag several times. A linen bag would have to be used by consumers more than 30 times to be superior to a plastic bag. It is similar to alternatives such as wooden cutlery and cardboard plates.

    Updated Date: 24 August 2018, 12:00

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