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How to deal with disposable compostable tableware after use?

Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-11-11      Origin:Site

Nowadays, there are many kinds and styles of disposable tableware, but when designing a new product, it is important to consider its ecological behavior, because it is related to its final treatment. Particularly in concerning material used in disposable food packaging and consumer products. Designing these materials to be biodegradable and ensuring that they can be disposed of properly in the end will be beneficial to environmental protection and ecology.


The following are several common degradation principles.


Biodegradable

Plastic is a type of plastic that is degraded by the action or influence of microbial conditions in the natural environment such as bacteria, molds (fungi) and algae. For example PLA.


Biodegradable


Photodegradation

It is because the photosensitizer is mixed in the plastic, and under the action of sunlight, the plastic gradually decomposes. A type of plastic that is degraded by sunlight in the natural environment. For example: PBAT.


Environmental degradation

Plastics are exposed to natural environmental conditions and degraded by light, heat, water, oxygen, pollutants, microorganisms, insects, wind, sand, rain, and mechanical forces.


Hydrolysis

This type of degradable plastic is water-soluble and biodegradable, such as polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl alcohol/starch degradable plastics, etc.


Photodegradation

This type of degradable plastic refers to the polymer resin with groups that are easily degraded by light. Such as ethylene/carbon monoxide copolymer, carbon dioxide copolymer , or adding photosensitizer to PE/PP general-purpose resin to form photodegradable plastics.


Photodegradation


Products degraded due to physical and biological factors. The so-called aerobic degradation (ie accelerated degradation by catalysts or activators at high temperatures). These materials do not degrade as fast as compostable products and may leave debris. These degraded water-repellent fragments have a large surface area and may migrate into groundwater and soil. Some hydrophobic highly toxic substances, such as PCB and DDT, are adsorbed and retained on the surface.


Compostable products can be completely degraded in an industrial composting environment without leaving any residue and decomposed into non-polluting substances, which is beneficial to environmental protection. The industrial composting environment refers to the prescribed temperature of about 60°C, and microorganisms must be present.


Many people question the degradation products of degradable tableware and their environmental protection.


As early as 2015, researchers from the International Marine Garbage Research Center at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom carried out experiments to conduct three environmental degradation experiments for five different degradation types of plastic bags. They were placed in seawater, exposed to the air and buried in soil. The plastic bags will be inspected at regular intervals, and the degradation will be evaluated based on the visible corrosion degree, tensile strength and chemical structure of the plastic bag surface. The experimental results and evaluations were released in Environmental Science and Technology in 2019. The results show that the best-performing plastic in degradable plastics is compostable plastic bags. That is, the most environmentally friendly plastic bags are compostable garbage bags. Five years have passed since the experiment. With the improvement of technology, our compostable products are far superior to the products five years ago from the source to the final decomposition products and decomposition time. For marine life, even if the compostable plastic bag accidentally flows into the ocean, it is no longer a fatal injury.


In short, the environmental protection of compostable plastic products is much higher than that of ordinary and other degradable plastics. We should treat them rationally and scientifically after use, otherwise the significance of compostable plastics will be greatly damaged.Therefore, we can take appropriate measures to carry out compost degradation treatment based on the above several degradation principles.


plastic bags and sea animals


How to deal with disposable compostable tableware after use?


Place the degradable and compostable garbage in the corresponding garbage collection bin. If you own household garbage disposal equipment, you can dispose of it yourself. For example, composting biodegradable products and waste paper with other organic compostable materials, such as yard waste, food and agricultural waste, etc. It can produce a large amount of carbon-rich fertilizer (humic material). Fertilizer-improved soil has many benefits. Due to the increased content of organic carbon, water and nutrients, it can reduce the amount of chemicals and inhibit plant diseases. Today, people are increasingly using compost to maintain the sustainable development of agricultural systems. In many countries, food waste and other biological waste are collected separately and composted to produce good, high-value soil improvement materials, which are returned to the field to maintain the carbon cycle.


Composting


In the past, polymers were designed to be non-degradable materials. Nowadays, the challenge is to design polymers that have the required functions during use, but that can decompose after use. More importantly, degradation products cannot be toxic and cannot exist in the environment for a long time, but can be completely digested by soil microorganisms within a certain period of time like food. In order to ensure that the market can accept biodegradable products, it is undoubtedly necessary to prove that these materials are biodegradable within a short period of a few weeks in the waste management infrastructure (more precisely, these materials can be passed through the treatment facility Microbial enzymes present in digestion/utilization).


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