Just What Does Biodegradable Mean?
by John Grimes
biodegradable mean?

Biodegradable material is that which can be naturally broken down into organic
components. The process can work in two ways. With aerobic degrading, the
materials are broken down by bacteria in an oxygen environment. As you might
guess, anaerobic degradation is the second method and does not require an oxygen
rich environment. To satisfy this component, the materials comprising the product
usually need to be organic to begin with, but not always.

Society is a beautiful thing. When a society shows an interest in some subject,
businesses hustle to provide products in that gap. If you doubt this, look no further
than hybrid cars. When a swath of society started showing interest in cars that were
more fuel efficient and less harmful for the environment, every car manufacturer
started producing hybrid cars. In perhaps the ultimate irony, there are now hybrid
SUVs! Well, society has shown the same interest in biodegradable products, and the
business industry has reacted.

Plastic products are all around us. Classic plastic products, however, are hardly
biodegradable. The hall of shame in this regard is the plastic used to hold six packs of
beer and soft drinks together. It takes 450 years on average for this convenience
packaging to break down. 450 years! This is hardly good news for the plastic
industry, so it has come up with something new that it likes to claim is biodegradable.

Bioplastics are the new craze in the plastic industry. Bioplastic is produced from the
components of organic materials such as soy oil and corn starch. The goal with
bioplastics is to produce a plastic that is...well, biodegradable. The technology is fairly
new, so nobody is really sure how well it degrades. It is generally considered to be
superior to traditional plastic, but that isn't really saying much given the 450 year life
span of plastic six pack holders. The real question is how long will it take for the
bioplastics to degrade? While there are certainly a lot of claims, independent studies
have not yet produced definitive results.

From a practical perspective, you need to be careful about buying products that claim
to be biodegradable. Technically, everything will eventually break down. Much like
many over inflated supplement claims, may supposed biodegradable products may
not deliver what they infer.


About The Author

John Grimes is with All Terrain - makers of natural, products.
There is little doubt that we as a
society have become more conscious
of the impact we make on the world
around us and the need to protect it.
This brings us to the subject of
biodegradable products.

When you are shopping for products,
you tend to see a lot of different
claims on products. If you are
environmentally conscious, you
probably keep an eye out for
environmentally friendly products.
One such claim that is commonly
made on products is that they are
biodegradable. Well, what does
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