Go Green Today: Tips For Going Green - Bioplastic
Are you possibly hoping that science will find a way to get a little more actively involved in the research and production of practical human needs rather than unsustainable technologies that are just handy for making money? Many of the large corporations that have been responsible for much of the development of the world’s plastics are also rather notorious for a history of not having really cared so much about their impact on humans or the environment. It is ironic, of course, that such corporations are run by humans and so eventually someone had to catch on. Thankfully modern consumer trends are a little wiser and so the reigns of plastics corporations are now being pulled toward a more sustainable form of plastic that is actually biodegradable in the short term rather than sitting in a land fill for a few hundred to a thousand years.
The term is "Bioplastic" (also called organic plastic) and it is a plastic that is primarily made from natural vegetable resources rather than being made from petroleum like the now traditional plastics that are so ubiquitous in the human world today. They are a great way to package foods as they are essentially from plants themselves and they decompose quickly when placed in a land fill. They are made of such simple resources as corn starch and pea starch, so the biodegradability is rather clear. Also clear is the plastic itself, appearing basically the same as petroleum based plastic.
In the city of San Francisco grocery stores are now required to use only biodegradable plastic grocery bags when offering bags to their shoppers. The push by such cities is truly a sign that it is time for a major change in the way food and groceries are packaged. The fact that most people still do not know that there is a viable alternative is rather alarming in and of itself. This is likely, in part, to the cost involved in stores switching to biodegradable plastic bags and also possibly due to the plastics manufacturers who are still producing petroleum based bags for their corporate customers. Imagine the annual revenue from the amount of plastic shopping bags used in the world today. Thankfully cities like San Francisco are showing the rest of the world what is already possible today and hopefully more cities will catch on soon and join in.
Bioplastic does still require a manufacturing process that still relies on some petroleum resources, so it is not a completely sustainable solution but is certainly far better than plastics based primarily on petroleum. In some studies the production of bioplastic has shown a 42 percent reduction in carbon emissions. That is huge!
It is clear that it is time for all grocery store shopping bags and also food packaging to transition to bioplastic and it is up to the consumer to make their opinion known. Contact the corporate offices of your local large grocery store and let them know that you want a switch to bioplastic packaging and bags. Do it for yourself, your family, your city, and your environment. Do it for the planet.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 30 August 2009 19:46 )