the-push-to-develop-more-bioplastics-continues,-despite-dubious-benefits

Ever since someone—perhaps a scientist at Archer Daniels Midland back in the 1990s—discovered that polymer materials can be made from corn, the world has been on a tear to develop bioplastics out of everything imaginable. It’s like there’s a huge contest to see who can make plastic—specifically bioplastics—out of the weirdest stuff.

Mad scientist

The latest headline I saw broke the news that scientists were making bioplastics out of fish guts. I just couldn’t bring myself to read the article. Maybe there are a lot of scientists out there who just want to fiddle around and make plastics out of algae, switchgrass, sugar cane and a variety of other food stuffs, even soil bacteria “in a controlled fermentation environment” (PHA).

The rationale for creating so-called “natural” polymers rests on the idea that bioplastics are better because they come from nature: “PHA Comes from Nature, Returns to Nature,” says Danimer Scientific’s home page. But almost everything we humans make comes from nature: Aluminum, steel, iron, gold, paper, textiles, glass and, yes, traditional polymers all come from natural resources, which means that all of these materials are “natural.”

I understand that the key is getting value from these materials after their useful lifespan, either through recycling or waste-to-energy. Other alternatives, such as composting through a biodegradation process, don’t work so well. Glass doesn’t biodegrade. Archeologists studying early American colonies have dug up glass bottles that are 200 years old! Metals will eventually rust if left in the earth or in marine environments long enough, but remnants of iron fittings from ancient ships found at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea are a testament to the longevity of most metals. Of course, metal and glass in the marine environment sink to the bottom. The problem with plastic is that it floats, and, therefore, is visible.

You can make plastic from just about anything. Senior Reporter Eric Munson wrote an article in The Review, an independent student newspaper at the University of Delaware, “The Truth about Biodegradable Plastics” (Nov. 18, 2019), in which he interviewed McKay Jenkins, a professor of English, journalism and environmental humanities, about biodegradable plastics. “A plastic is anything made from a wide range of polymers regardless of the ingredients. So you can make plastic out of petrochemicals [chemicals obtained from petroleum and natural gas], but you can also make plastic out of potatoes, corn and soybeans,” Jenkins explained.

That is true, but there’s been some pushback from people who reject the idea of using food products to make plastic, given the number of people in the world who are “food insecure” and, thus, need food more than they need plastic bags made from food.

Jenkins noted an important factor in his interview with Munson: Biodegradability doesn’t offer much greater benefits than traditional plastics. “If [plastic] doesn’t break down [in the environment] it’s a problem,” he said. “If it does break down, it’s a problem.”

So the obvious answer is to make plastic bags, containers, cups, bottles and so forth out of traditional materials that come from the earth (oil, natural gas) so they can provide the tremendous benefits that come with such items, but educate people on keeping these items out of land and marine environments.

Munson also interviewed Melanie Ezrin, a junior public policy and environmental science major, who explained that the term biodegradable “means that plastic breaks down into ‘natural products,’ meaning nothing chemical or artificial. [Biodegradable plastics] don’t decay the way people think they do,” Ezrin said. “You hear the word ‘biodegradable’ and you think of throwing an apple into the woods.”

Ezrin points out what we in the industry have long known—anything made into plastic via an industrial process must use an industrial process to break it down. “You really have to break them down industrially,” Ezrin said. “If you just throw plastic in your backyard, it’s going to be there most of the time.”

Jenkins also noted to Munson that his home composter is “good at burning food,” but the compostable plastic he threw in has been sitting there for years.

Even some companies that manufacture bioplastics admit that the best way to get rid of bioplastic items at the end of their useful life is in landfills. “We believe it makes more sense to put renewable materials in the landfill instead of non-renewable materials,” Stephen Croskrey, CEO of Danimer Scientific, maker of Nodax PHA resin, told PlasticsToday in an interview published a few months ago. “In the event [it ends up as] litter, the [Nodax PHA] will break down, unlike fossil fuel–based products.”

Given all of that information and what we know about the many advantages of traditional plastics for use in retail bags, food and beverage containers and medical applications, why is everyone pushing so hard and spending so much time and resources to try and develop more polymers out of ever-stranger natural stuff?

Fish guts? Seriously?

Image courtesy J.J. at the English language Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)]

147 comments

  1. Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.

    I appreciate you spending some time and effort
    to put this content together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both
    reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still
    worth it!

  2. Wow, incredible weblog structure! How long have you been blogging
    for? you make running a blog look easy. The overall look of your
    site is fantastic, let alone the content!

    Feel free to surf to my page – Keto Lean X

  3. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

    Also visit my web page – Slim X Keto

  4. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research
    on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I
    learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such magnificent information being shared
    freely out there.

    My blog post: Oracle Leaf CBD

  5. Hi there, You have done a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my
    friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

    Here is my blog: Meghan

  6. I not to mention my pals were found to be following the great
    tricks from your web blog and then the sudden I had an awful feeling I had not thanked the site owner for them.
    These young men had been as a result glad to study them and now have absolutely been taking pleasure in them.
    Thank you for getting considerably thoughtful and then for picking out this form of ideal topics millions of individuals are really
    eager to be aware of. Our sincere apologies for
    not expressing gratitude to earlier.

    my web site … Puri Royal Derma Cream

  7. Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness
    on your submit is just nice and i can think you’re knowledgeable in this subject.
    Fine with your permission allow me to grasp your feed
    to keep updated with drawing close post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please keep up the rewarding
    work.

    Look into my blog post :: http://www.fotosombra.com.br

  8. I think this is among the so much important information for me.
    And i am happy reading your article. However want to remark on some common issues, The site style
    is ideal, the articles is in reality great :D. Good task, cheers.

    Also visit my site … D-Fine8 Reviews

  9. Have you ever thought about writing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would appreciate your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    my blog post … Spore Mens Vitality Mix

  10. I must voice my passion for your kindness for those people who
    really need guidance on this particular niche. Your personal
    commitment to getting the solution across appears to be exceptionally informative and have truly made others like me to get to their ambitions.
    Your amazing informative suggestions entails a whole lot a person like me and especially to my fellow workers.

    Thank you; from everyone of us.

    my site; http://vip5.moisait2021.ru/

  11. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue together with your
    web site in internet explorer, might check this… IE
    still is the market leader and a large component to other people will omit your great writing due to this problem.

    Feel free to surf to my web page – D-Fine8 Review

  12. Thanks for another informative site. The place else may I am getting that type
    of information written in such a perfect means? I’ve a
    project that I’m simply now working on, and I have been on the glance out for such info.

    My web blog; Pure Remedy CBD (Maryanne)

  13. This design is spectacular! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.

    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  14. hey there and thank you for your information ? I?ve certainly picked up something new
    from right here. I did however expertise a few technical
    points using this site, since I experienced to reload the site many times
    previous to I could get it to load properly.

    I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your
    placement in google and can damage your high quality score if advertising and
    marketing with Adwords. Well I?m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective interesting content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon..

    my web-site – Glacier Air Conditioner Review

  15. My husband and i got now cheerful Jordan could do his basic research through the ideas he
    acquired out of your web site. It’s not at all simplistic just to
    choose to be offering hints that the rest may have
    been selling. So we recognize we have you to give thanks to because of that.
    Those explanations you have made, the simple web site menu,
    the friendships you will help create – it is most astonishing, and it’s making our son in addition to our
    family imagine that that idea is enjoyable, which is certainly wonderfully pressing.
    Thank you for all!

    Also visit my blog: Fast Dash Keto Pills

  16. Thanks so much with regard to giving me an update on this topic
    on your web site. Please realize that if a new post appears or if perhaps any adjustments occur to the current publication, I would be
    considering reading a lot more and focusing on how to make good utilization of those approaches you write about.
    Thanks for your time and consideration of other men and
    women by making this blog available.

    Take a look at my web site VigorMax Pills Review

  17. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you
    an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

    Feel free to visit my web blog: http://www.zicd.com/

  18. I cherished up to you’ll receive performed right here.
    The cartoon is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    however, you command get got an impatience over that you want be handing
    over the following. ill without a doubt come more before again as precisely
    the same nearly very frequently inside of case you defend
    this increase.

    my blog; Hempizor CBD Reviews

  19. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am
    having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to
    it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will
    you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    Also visit my web site: librarius.main.jp

  20. Wow, wonderful weblog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging
    for? you made running a blog look easy. The whole glance of your site is excellent, as neatly
    as the content material!

    my blog: Bio Wellness CBD Gummies Review (163.30.42.16)

  21. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  22. I am extremely impressed with your writing talents as well as with the layout
    to your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is uncommon to peer
    a nice weblog like this one these days..

  23. Pretty part of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to say that I get in fact
    loved account your weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds or even I fulfillment
    you get admission to consistently rapidly.

  24. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your web site.
    Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues?
    A few of my blog visitors have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
    Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?

  25. Hello there I am so happy I found your website, I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Digg for
    something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but
    I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I
    have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the fantastic
    work.

  26. Considering a adulador togel on the web player? See
    the news in the site to begin with to get the practically all up to date information. A lot of correct estimations and how to consider up.

  27. Are you gonna be a gambling togel on the internet player? See the news in the site initially
    to get the ideal information. You will find correct prices and how to have up.

  28. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog.
    You have some really great posts and I believe I
    would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  29. I enjoy what you guys are up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve you guys to our blogroll.

  30. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked
    up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points
    using this web site, since I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but
    slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your
    high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.

    Well I am adding this RSS to my email and can look out for
    a lot more of your respective fascinating content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  31. Your style is so unique compared to other people I’ve read
    stuff from. Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just
    bookmark this blog.

    Feel free to visit my web blog – Fidelia

  32. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering
    what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having
    a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not
    very web savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Appreciate it

    Also visit my web blog – Pure Remedy CBD Capsules

  33. I have been browsing online greater than three hours
    lately, but I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It’s beautiful value sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters
    and bloggers made just right content material as you
    did, the web can be much more useful than ever before.

  34. When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox
    and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment.
    There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that
    service? Kudos!

    My page: MegaXL Advantage

  35. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?

    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to
    no backup. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  36. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?
    My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours
    and my visitors would genuinely benefit from
    some of the information you present here. Please let me know if
    this ok with you. Appreciate it!

  37. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specifically the last part :
    ) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

    Feel free to surf to my page – Semzia Keto

  38. Fantastic items from you, man. I’ve remember your stuff previous to and you are simply too fantastic.
    I actually like what you’ve bought here, certainly like what you’re saying
    and the way during which you assert it. You are making it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it wise.

    I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is really a great web site.
    quest bars http://j.mp/3C2tkMR quest bars

  39. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

    My blog post; Charmain

  40. Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform.
    I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a
    good platform.

    Also visit my web page: Vissentials Keto Max BHB

  41. I was just seeking this information for a while.
    After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your
    website. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t
    rank this kind of informative sites in top of the list.
    Normally the top web sites are full of garbage.

    My web site; UNBS CBD

  42. Hello, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a
    quick heads up! Other then that, very good blog!

    My homepage; Clean Cut Keto

  43. Hello! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog such as yours
    take a lot of work? I am brand new to operating a blog but I
    do write in my diary on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience
    and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions
    or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

    my homepage Winnie

  44. I simply could not leave your website before suggesting
    that I extremely enjoyed the standard information a
    person provide to your visitors? Is going to be back ceaselessly to check out new posts.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog – wenalway.com

  45. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so
    cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site.
    It reveals how nicely you understand this subject.
    Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles.
    You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched all
    over the place and just could not come across. What a great
    site.

    My web blog … cyclical ketogenic diet

  46. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site thus i came to ?return the favor?.I am
    attempting to find things to improve my site!I
    suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    Also visit my web site Tony

  47. Hi! I know this is sort of off-topic but I had to ask. Does managing a well-established
    website like yours require a lot of work? I am brand new to writing
    a blog but I do write in my diary everyday. I’d like to start
    a blog so I will be able to share my personal experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for
    brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

    Here is my web page … eating healthy allows

  48. Thank you for your blog post. Jones and I happen to be saving for a new ebook
    on this issue and your writing has made all of us to save money.
    Your thoughts really solved all our problems.
    In fact, in excess of what we had acknowledged in advance of the time we stumbled on your excellent blog.
    I actually no longer nurture doubts and also a troubled mind because you have attended
    to our needs right here. Thanks

    Also visit my website; Jesse

  49. I simply wanted to thank you a lot more for your amazing web
    site you have designed here. It truly is full of useful tips for those who are definitely interested in this subject, primarily this very post.
    You really are all absolutely sweet in addition to thoughtful of others and reading the blog posts is a good delight in my opinion. And such
    a generous gift! Ben and I usually have enjoyment
    making use of your recommendations in what we need to do in a
    few days. Our listing is a kilometer long which means that your tips are going to be put to
    very good use.

    My webpage: growing weed

  50. I’m not positive where you’re getting your
    info, but good topic. I must spend a while learning more
    or understanding more. Thank you for magnificent info I used
    to be in search of this information for my mission.

    Here is my web site: care routine

  51. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many
    thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I can’t join it. Is there
    anyone else having the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

    my website; winter skin care

  52. Very efficiently written post. It will be helpful to anyone who
    utilizes it, as well as me. Keep up the good work
    – for sure i will check out more posts.

    My website Alecia

  53. I am only commenting to let you be aware of what a fantastic experience my princess enjoyed visiting yuor web blog.
    She discovered such a lot of pieces, which include
    how it is like to possess an ideal helping spirit to let the mediocre ones quite
    simply understand specified tricky matters.
    You truly surpassed readers’ expectations. Many thanks for
    supplying such informative, healthy, educational and as well as cool tips about
    that topic to Julie.

    Here is my website; brain boosting ingredients

  54. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that.
    And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank
    you for lunch!

    Also visit my web site eat healthy

  55. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of
    any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward
    to your new updates.

    Feel free to visit my blog post … genital hair removal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.