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Tuesday · November 08 2005

A biodegradable plastic bottle
The standard non-recycled plastic bottle in the landfill will take 1000 years to decompose. This newly engineered bottle can decompose in 80 days in a commercial composter, while retaining the same long shelf life in the store or your pantry.

What you had to say:
November 08 2005

I'm not quite sure where they got the 1000 year stat for traditional plastic bottles. A plastic bag takes approximately 100 years to break down if left on the street - this is according to the EPA. A glass bottle takes 1,000,000 years to break down. I find it hard to believe that a typical plastic bottle would break down in 1000 years in a landfill where conditions for decomposition are much worse. Hell, grapes have been found preserved after 40 years in a landfill. The EPA says they have no idea how long plastic products would require to break down.

Replacement of petroleum-based products with corn is great. It is also appearing in building products like carpeting. The problem is getting it to the commercial composter. If it ends up in a landfill it probably won't ever break down. To be effective, these products need to solve the same issues that recycling programs face: public awareness of the vast amounts of waste we generate and the commitment to do something real about it. Blue bagging is not the answer.

November 10 2005

I noticed yesterday that the container of Newman's Own organic baby spinach that I had forgotten about in the fridge at work was made of corn, too...

© 2005 Jason Keglovitz