Sunday, 30 September 2007

Biodegradable Plastic

Here in the UK you can now buy ‘Innocent Breakfast Thickies’, a combination of yoghurt, oats and fruit juice. As well as being probiotic and tasting delicious (allegedly – I haven’t tried one yet) they are environmentally friendly too because the bottles are made from corn and compost down in just six weeks.
They call the material PLA or Poly Lactic Acid. It starts to break down when the conditions reach 50°C and 95% relative humidity. The composting process truly works and we may now have the solution to the worldwide pollution being caused by plastic water bottles that take virtually for ever to degrade. Corn starch bottles are a very new development so there is currently a real lack of composting infrastructure around.
Only 10% of the UK’s recycling centres have machines that can sort these bottles from the normal plastic ones, so if you come across any of these place the cap in your recycling, and the bottle in your compost heap if you have one.

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