Recycling and Conservation

How can plastics be made biodegradable?

Plastic does not rust or rot. This is an advantage in its usage, but when it comes to disposal of plastic the advantage turns into a liability. Degradable plastic has starch in it so that it can be attacked by starch-eating bacteria to eventually disintegrate the plastic into bits. Chemically degradable plastic can be broken up with a chemical solution that dissolves it. Used in surgery, biodegradable plastic stitches slowly dissolve in the body fluids. Photodegradable plastic contains chemicals that disintegrate over a period of one to three years when exposed to light. One-quarter of the plastic yokes used to package beverages are made from a plastic called Ecolyte, which is photodegradable.


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