Talk:Biodegradable plastic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Environment (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This environment-related article is part of the WikiProject Environment to improve Wikipedia's coverage of the environment. The aim is to write neutral and well-referenced articles on environment-related topics, as well as to ensure that environment articles are properly categorized.
Read Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ and leave any messages at the project talk page.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Polymers
WikiProject icon Biodegradable plastic is within the scope of WikiProject Polymers which aims to improve the coverage of polymer-related articles in Wikipedia. If you are interested, you may visit the project page and join with us. Feel free to leave messages at the project talk page. WikiProject icon
 
WikiProject Technology (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Technology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 
Today's articles for improvement
WikiProject icon
This article was selected as Today's article for improvement on 6 May 2013 for a period of one week.
WikiProject icon
 

Merge[edit]

Merge to Bioplastics? How can you merge a product to manufacture bioplastics into bioplastics?


Well I got confused (still am a bit) why are there different articles for bioplastic and biodegradeable plastic. there should at least be links to each article from the other with explainations if there is a reason that they aren't merged. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bbdougl (talkcontribs) 23:07, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Importance[edit]

This article can help reduce the landfills in 1-5 years. No other product can do that without leaching into the groundwater and have a true environmental impact.

Biodegradation[edit]

Please explain your "opinions" on the Bio-Batch work, as well as your "opinion" on biodegradation.

According to ASTM 5511 ASTM 5338 as well as the ISO 14001.

Thank you, ASTM 6400 is a unique test made only for industrial composting facilities that do not exist in numbers in the US. Also Composting is much different then Biodegradation, you can look this up in any dictionary, and if rightfully so, then PLA and PSM do not fit in this category of composting and should be labelled as Industrial Composting Only.

Biodegradation is The breakdown of organic materials into simpler components by microorganisms, composting is also the breakdown of organic materials into simpler components by microorganisms and hence composting is a form of biodegradation. The Bio-Batch article reads like an advert for the Bio-Batch technology and the links you have inserted into articles such as biodegradation read very much like spam. I suggest you tweak your article to be NPOV and place links to the Bio-Batch website where it is relevant- i.e. bioplastics and on the Bio-Batch article. A link to the Bio-Batch website is not appropriate on the biodegradation article. --Alex 13:50, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The biogradation article has several sentences that are the same or very similar to sentences in this one paragraph source: http://www.bio-tec.biz/biobatch.html . Is it a copyright violation? Or did the original contributor perchance write both sources? Cardamon 15:53, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

There certainly seems to be a direct connection between one and the other. Perhaps we can be enlightened ? Mrs Trellis 18:00, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
This is an article stub created by removing of an article which was clearly advertising by User:Callsign. Anyone that has a technical knowledge of biodegradable plastics and are able to provide differentiation with bioplastic, unbiasedly, would be very welcome! Alex 15:57, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Contradiction[edit]

The main disadvantage with oil-based biodegradable plastics is that their degradation contributes to global warming through the release of carbon dioxide as a main end product. This does not apply to starch based plastics as they are formed from carbon which is already in the ecosystem (via photosynthesis).

Unless someone can cite this it doesn't make scientific sense because oil based plastics were formed from oils, formed from animals which ate plants and so the carbon from the oil came from plants and from photosynthesis, so any carbon dioxide release will be long overdue by millions of years... would also have come from the ecosystem.Tourskin 05:59, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Actually, that does make some sense. (No, I did not write it.) First, let's consider a simpler question. Why does pumping oil out of the ground and then burning it cause the amount of CO2 in the air to increase, while growing plants and then burning them doesn't? Most oil that is pumped out of the ground would have stayed there for many millions of years if it had not been pumped. So, burning oil puts carbon (in carbon dioxide) into the air that would not have been in either the air or the ecosystem had the oil not been pumped out of the ground. On the other hand, burning plants just returns carbon dioxide to the air that the plants originally took from the air using photosynthesis; thus it makes little long term difference to the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. (In the short run, growing plants and storing them for a while temporarily removes carbon dioxide from the air.) If the plastic really is biodegraded by aerobic respiration by bacteria, as the author of the passage is assuming, the end result will be as if it had been burned. So the only questionable thing is whether all these plastics really are biodegraded by aerobic respiration. Cardamon 07:20, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
But growing plants using petroleum based fertilizers and then burning them would be a net carbon release..--64.136.252.140 (talk) 22:04, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
in order for anything to biodegrade by science standards you will create either CO2 or CH4, depending on if it is Anearobic or Aerobic biodegradation. The person siting this makes no sense. PHA's PHB's PLA's Oil Based, PCL's, PBS's, yada yada all create CH4 or CO2, or they are not biodegrading. User:Callsign —Preceding comment was added at 23:01, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

When some material is called "biodegradable" because its breakdown components are LESS toxic than the cheaper alternative, and that is only AFTER it has been detoxified by microbes, I get the 'uh-oh' feeling. Something tells me that even if this article is accurate, this material isn't as 'biodegradable' as shit and piss. Eddietoran (talk) 05:27, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Irrelevant "Environmental Concerns" section[edit]

The "Environmental Concerns" section seems irrelevant to this article, at least as it is currently worded. It appears to refer to plastics in general, not Biodegradable plastics in particular. Perhaps it should be reworded or removed completely.

Temporary lock[edit]

I've temporarily locked the article due to recent frequent edits that were not appropriate. If there are any concerns over this please state them here. Halogenated (talk) 02:48, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Envorimental concern[edit]

For the envoriment it should be stated that even though they are biodegradable these plastics are still harmfull do to the fact that they give off harmfull gases when burnt, and that they still are not mad of nautraul chemicals, thus the materials used can be hramfull to the to they envoriment and when they have contact with animals they can be harmed.

Contradictions, Adverts, Concerns[edit]

Changes made: These also are the criteria used by the Biodegradble Products Institute to certify that a plastic will biodegrade in a compost environment without environmental side-effects . [1] (Environmental Side-Effects) # PLA/ethanol is creating more global warming pollution than gasoline according to the Environmental Defense Org., November, 2007.

  1. GMO corn kills the larvae of beneficial pollinators, including the Monarch butterfly, and other beneficial insects. It fails, for example, to kill the African Cotton Worm, but kills the beneficial Green Lacewing that eats Cotton Worms. Insects develop resistance to the engineered Bt toxin over time, threatening to render natural Bt sprays useless for organic farmers — a tool allowed as a last resort.
  2. GMO corn threatens organic farmers and a sustainable environment. Pollen drift and genetic contamination reduce biodiversity. (Packaging and Plastics, July, 2006, by Natalie Reitman-White and Bob Doppelt
  3. A recent article from the World Bank states that 75% of the increase in food prices is because of corn used for biofuels. The US claims of 3% are way off. One would also have to include any corn based plastics as they are also using corn that would normally be used for food. The Guardian; July 4, 2008, Aditya Chakrabortty
  4. Smithfield Foods’ CEO C. Larry Pope, stated that the problems his company currently face are due to the high cost of corn, not to the recession. “Profits are down because of the recession. We’d be doing fine if corn prices hadn’t skyrocketed.” The Virginia-Pilot, Feb. 12, 2009
  5. NatureWorks has been cited by the state of Nebraska for air pollution. They were guilty of emitting organic compounds (VOC) and hazardous air pollutants above the permitted levels- Plastic News, Dec., 2006.

(Biodegradable Products Institute is not a governing authority, this is an advertisement for their $4,800 Logo Program, a non profit that outsources all of their testing to accredited labs on the ASTM D6400 and D6868) (Personal Opinions, non science based) There is no scientific definition for biodegradable plastics only compostable in an industrial compost(Incorrect read ASTM D5511) although various researchers may claim that plastics with different rates of biodegradation (from months to years) are biodegradable for marketing purposes only(Incorrect and non science based). No additive base plastic currently meets these mainstream definitions of biodegradble / compostable to include biobatch and oxodegradable additives (Incorrect biobatch does, please read the ASTM D5511 method, which is the same as the D5338 method which the ASTM D6400 standard references, please review)[2]

(Incorrect the ASTM D5511) Because of various temperature, humidity and microbial environments in landfills there is not test that will ensure a compostable plastic will biodegrade in a landfill. For example what may biodegrade in Florida in the summer may not in an Alaskan winter so the ASTM D20 committee on plastics had not published a definition of biodegrade in a landfill Once again the D5511 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Callsign (talkcontribs) 07:24, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

To provide scientific standards for biodegradable plastics, the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) was established in 1999. The BPI is a multi-stakeholder association comprising representatives of government, industry and academia. The BPI is open to any materials and products that demonstrate that they meet the requirements in ASTM D6400 or D6868, based on testing in a BPI-approved laboratory.

(ADVERTISMENT, NON Government based)(NON Biodegradable, Please post in compostable plastics section)(Please read FTC guidelines for Biodegradable, Compostable)

Removed Link (Biodegradable Products Institute) Wiki rules of advertising

NUMEROUS SPELLING ERRORS by BPI poster

Added

EcoPure from Bio-Tec attracts the microbes to the molecular structure by allowing the hydrocarbons to be sensed once again by microbial colonies. When oil is in the ground the microbes attach themselves onto the hydrocarbons consuming the oil and creating natural gas, 50% of which is methane gas. When the oil is cracked 4% is used for the plastic industry, if the plastic industry did not use this 4% the 4% would be considered waste and be thrown away or removed and dumped into a a waste disposal facility, another 4% is used in the generation of your consumer product. During this phase of cracking the organic compound which attracts the microbes to the molecular structure of the plastic is burnt out. The organic compound which is burnt out and other proprietary compounds which increase quorum sensing of the microbes and Ph balance for the microbes are placed into the molecular structure of the plastic once again.[10]

REF body of Bio-Tec, their patented technology —Preceding unsigned comment added by Callsign (talkcontribs) 06:09, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Need section listing names of plastics in this category[edit]

There should be a section listing plastics in this category. I've found the following partial list:

  • polybutylene adipate/terephthalate
  • polybutylene succinate
  • polybutylene succinate/adipate
  • polybutylene succinate/carbonate
  • polybutylene succinate terephthalate
  • polytetramethylene adipate/terephthalate
  • polycaprolactone

-- Dougher (talk) 01:53, 17 July 2009 (UTC) I can add to this. It may take me some time, it may be good to reference the body of the Australian committee around Biopolymers. They do have an in-depth study.

I will post the link here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Callsign (talkcontribs) 06:12, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/publications/waste/degradables/biodegradable/chapter3.html

Timescales?[edit]

I came here looking for timescales for biodegradation. How long does it take typical biodegradable, oxo-degradable and non-degradable materials to degrade in aerobic and anaerobic environments? The only clue in the article is the sentence "Disposing of biodegradable plastics made from natural materials in anaerobic (landfill) environments will result in the plastic lasting for hundred of years." Rough orders of magnitude (years, 10s of years, 100s of years, etc.) would do. 79.199.61.21 (talk) 06:31, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

True biodegradation time scales are very difficult. Allot of companies like to try and give a time frame to biodegradation, but it depends on various things such as surface area(microbes attaching themselves onto the surface, would one like to climb a rock wall with rocks, or a smooth surface, microbes work the same) as well as thickness or gram weight for carbon loss. It is almost impossible to give an exact time frame of a generic plastic product. You would need to perform a basic weight loss analysis or a gel perm test. Weight loss is around 500 bucks and Gel is 2K.

Space requirements?[edit]

For the US to meet its current output of plastics production with BPs, it would require 1.62 square meters per kilogram produced[25].

That sounds far too low to be true. Maybe it should read "1.62 square kilometers per kilogram produced"? Also it seems that a unit of time is missing -> "per kilogram produced per year"? Can anyone with access to the cited source check what it says there? --Chrissi (talk) 16:04, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Comment[edit]

Please note that this page has been altered to delete all mention of alternatives to compostable plastics. This revision omits all reference to competing technologies, which include entire categories of biodegradable plastics. Two categories which have been omitted are oxo-biodegradable plastics and micro-biodegradable plastics. It seems likely that this edit of this Wikipedia entry has been made by those holding financial interests in 'compostable' plastics such as polylactic acid, or PLA. Companies which recently heavily lobbied for PLA in the below discussed California legislature include Cargill, Incorporated, doing business as under the name of its wholly owned subsidiary, Nature Works, and Archer Daniels Midland. Cargill has frequently been described as a bad corporate citizen, and it has been accused of many violations of labor and safety laws in many countries. The PLA lobby maintains a website devoted wholly to serving its interests, which describes legitimate alternatives to its technology as being scams and frauds at http://greenwashingspy.com -and it seems likely that this edit of this entry is a part of the same disinformation campaign by the PLA lobby. It may be also connected to a lobbying organization which has misrepresented itself as an environmental organization, the Biodegradable Products Institute, or BPI. For an contrasting view of the subject of biodegradable plastics, see . According to information on that website, to replace the disposable plastic items discarded in the United States with plastics based on corn, it would take enough grain to feed over one third of the world's hungry people, if it were made of PLA sourced corn. It may reasonably be inferred that profits despite massive humanitarian consequences are the goal of the PLA lobby and the corn lobby of which it is a subset. Biofuels made from corn promoted by the corn lobby have already been implicated in increasing world hunger by the United Nations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Junket76 (talkcontribs)

Changes made to this content, Scientific Definitions should not have a bill passed by California Legislation. Please place in the correct area on the page. Callsign (talk) 19:52, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Unreliable Source[edit]

Citation is an unreliable source REF 10, it has no bearing as it is a 3rd party trade organization promoting their certifications.Callsign (talk) 23:36, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

The citation numbers change, so please provide the full name of the reference. Wizard191 (talk) 15:04, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Advertising[edit]

Ingeo and Mirel were removed because they are Trade Names and advertising their products.

PLA is the resin for INGEO and PHA is the resin for Mirel Callsign (talk) 23:40, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

More Contradictions[edit]

There is another contradiction here: 'Biodegradable plastics are plastics that will decompose in natural aerobic (composting) and anaerobic (landfill) environments.' (first line of first paragraoh in introduction/background) and 'However, certified biodegradable plastics require a specific environment of moisture and oxygen to biodegrade, conditions found in professionally managed composting facilities.' (first line of second paragraph under the section 'Environmental benefits of biodegradable plastics depend upon proper disposal') — Preceding unsigned comment added by 175.156.201.217 (talk) 14:16, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View check[edit]

I came across this page and a few things raised some concerns for me. While I am barely starting out as a wikipedia editor, and while I really do want biodegradable plastics to succeed, I feel like this article downplays many problems with biodegradable plastics and reads like an article of persuasion. Part of the problem is many of the criticisms are hidden under a section titled "Environmental benefits of biodegradable plastics depend upon proper disposal." Also, in some places, the article sets up a problem or concern, and then gives an answer or solution to show that the problem is not real or important. I feel like it is overall unbalanced and persuasive, and I'd like a few impartial and more experienced editors to weigh in on if it really is the case.

Thanks, Semitones (talk) 17:20, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I feel the same, the article is a mass of uncited cruft, but the process was closer to this: Someone makes an uncited claim. Someone else comes and edits in "However, ...," then a third person joins in with "But that's unimportant because...," as if each sentence was a forum post, leaving us with a garbage article that is unscientific, unencyclopedic, and terribly written. Then the Environmental benefits and Environmental concerns sections essentially repeat the same arguments. It's hard to tell what's important because multiple people have made the article too wishy-washy to mean anything. It desperately needs an expert. Foxyshadis(talk) 19:51, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Removed the confusion between Compostable and Biodegradable, these are 2 separate ways to claim your products. Compostable means to throw away in a compost pile and does not mean that it is biodegradable in any way. On another note, compostable is meant for a compost facility above 140 F when biodegradable is meant for anything at 50 F, there is a big difference between above 50 F and below 50 F, due to the microbial activity. Microbes are increased reaction with every 18 F according to the EPA and CDC, this allows the compostable products to break down in compost and the biodegradable products to break down in natural environments such as a landfill. The mezophilic temperatures and the thermophilic temperatures as well define the types of microbes that live in those environments. The environments of compostable are defined as fungi's(Aerobic) and the environments of biodegradable are defined as bacteria(Anaerobic), these are different types or classes of microbes and therefore breakdown different substances, Fungi does not need 140 F to live nor does bacteria, they both can live at 140F, but Fungi needs free flowing oxygen and bacteria does not.(AKA thats why you get a virus(Bacteria) and Rashes(Fungus) — Preceding unsigned comment added by GGIwin (talkcontribs) 06:05, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Removed stories of plastic eating microbes to take over cities, this is false, microbes exist to consume plastic according to numerous studies, anaerobic and oceanic microbes that consume hydrocarbons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GGIwin (talkcontribs) 06:31, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Controversy[edit]

The source of the cited quotation is www.compostable.info, a website about the Canadian Certification Program for compostable plastic bags which is an initiative of The Compost Council of Canada, not the plastics industry. The definitions listed on the website seem to be provided merely to establish a basic terminology, as the criteria that have to be met in order to be certified for the mark of conformity "COMPOSTABLE" are not set by the ASTM definition but by the documents BNQ 9011-911/2007 and CAN/BNQ 0017-988. One of these requirements is that germination rate of seeds and rate of plant growth must be within 10% of the rates obtained on "normal" compost.
Other labels have other standards, and may or may not represent the plastics industry. For example the Biodegradable Products Institute is a label used in the US. To judge the merits of such labels one should examine the requirements and test procedures.
To determine whether these labels' use of the term "compostable" differs significantly from the accepted definition of the word, one would first have to show that such a generally accepted definition exists. Neither this article nor the compostable article provides a reliable source for that. Ssscienccce (talk) 08:59, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Dictionary Definition[edit]

Deleted the ridiculous definition of changing plastic to it's base components. Biodegradation has always meant capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. If you can't read a dictionary one will be provided to you. [3]— Preceding unsigned comment added by GGIwin (talkcontribs) 23:07, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

"Hydrocarbon Eating Microbes" list[edit]

I appreciate the work that went into including the "Hydrocarbon Eating Microbes" list, but I'm not sure that a list of 116 genera belongs in an encyclopaedia entry, especially unsourced. This seems like information for a microbiology database, not an introduction to biodegradable plastics, especially when the list is not introduced or referenced in any article text, and determining its relevance is left up to the reader.Nsteinberg (talk) 00:19, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the list is too indiscriminate as presented relative to the topic. I've removed this section from the article. Below is a copy of what was removed. Northamerica1000(talk) 12:44, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Hydrocarbon Eating Microbes

  1. Actinobacteria
  2. Micrococcaceae
  3. Arthrobacter
  4. Micrococcus
  5. Brevibacteriaceae
  6. Brevibacterium
  7. Dermabacteraceae
  8. Brachybacterium
  9. Dietziaceae
  10. Dietzia
  11. Cellulomonadaceae
  12. Cellulomonas
  13. Intrasporangiaceae
  14. Janibacter
  15. Terrabacter
  16. Corynebacteriaceae
  17. Mycobacterium
  18. Corynebacterium
  19. Gordoniaceae
  20. Gordonia
  21. Nocardioidaceae
  22. Nocardioides
  23. Rhodococcus
  24. Nocardiaceae
  25. Nocardia
  26. Cyanobacteria
  27. Bacteroidetes
  28. Chlorobi group
  29. Flavobacteria
  30. Chryseobacterium
  31. Flavobacterium
  32. Yeosuana
  33. Deinococcus-Thermus
  34. Thermaceae
  35. Thermus
  36. Thermotogae
  37. Thermotogaceae
  38. Petrotoga
  39. Firmicutes
  40. Bacillaceae
  41. Bacillus
  42. Geobacillus
  43. Staphylococcaceae
  44. Staphylococcus
  45. Proteobacteria
  46. Alphaproteobacteria
  47. Sphingomonadaceae
  48. Sphingomonas
  49. Sphingobium
  50. Rhodobacteraceae
  51. Paracoccus
  52. Stappia
  53. Roseobacter
  54. Rhodospirillaceae
  55. Thalassospira
  56. Tistrella
  57. Brucellaceae
  58. Ochrobactrum
  59. Rickettsiales
  60. SAR11 cluster
  61. Candidatus Pelagibacter
  62. Betaproteobacteria
  63. Alcaligenaceae
  64. Achromobacrer
  65. Alcaligenes
  66. Comamonadaceae
  67. Acidovorax
  68. Polaromonas
  69. Burkholderiaceae
  70. Burkholderia
  71. Ralstonia
  72. Rhodocyclaceae
  73. Azoarcus
  74. Thauera
  75. proteobacteria
  76. Geobacteraceae
  77. Geobacter
  78. Desulfobacteraceae
  79. Desulfobacterium
  80. Desulfobacula
  81. Desulfotignum
  82. Epsilon-
  83. proteobacteria
  84. Gamma-
  85. proteobacteria
  86. Piscirickettsiaceae
  87. Cycloclasticus
  88. Pseudomonadaceae
  89. Pseudomonas
  90. Alteromonadaceae
  91. Marinobacter
  92. Pseudoalteromonadaceae
  93. Pseudoalteromonas
  94. Pasteurellaceae
  95. Pasteurella
  96. Shewanellaceae
  97. Shewanella
  98. Moraxellaceae
  99. Acinetobacter
  100. Moraxella
  101. Halomonadaceae
  102. Halomonas
  103. Alcanivoracaceae
  104. Alcanivorax
  105. Oceanospirillaceae
  106. Thalassolituus
  107. Oleispira
  108. Neptunomonas
  109. Oleiphilaceae
  110. Oleiphilus
  111. Xanthomonadaceae
  112. Rhodanobacter
  113. Stenotrophomonas
  114. Xanthomonas
  115. Arenimonas
  116. Zetaproteobacteria

NOT truly biodegraeable[edit]

"OBD plastics may produce tiny fragments of plastic that do not continue to degrade"

How many molecules of plastic in a typical plastic bag..? Trillions? So after a grocery bag "bio-degrades", then instead of one discrete plastic bag in the environment, there are trillions of individual plastic molecules. That seems infinitely more hazardous and insidious than a single pastic bag.

This point isn't stressed nearly enough in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.208.71.221 (talk) 21:01, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.bpiworld.org/
  2. ^ http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/publications/Plastics/2009001.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biodegradable