The so-called ‘white pollution’ (pollution from plastic) as a very serious problem these days, and various steps are being taken to find solutions. One of these solutions is to replace traditional polyethylene plastic trash bags with biodegradable trash bags. This is not something many people have heard of, so it’s important to give more information about this issue. In this article I have examined the advantages and disadvantages of biodegradable plastic bags.

Advantages:
1) There are no chemical components involved in the manufacturing of biodegradable rubbish bags, and there are no petroleum-based products either.
2) You get the same results from biodegradable plastic bags as you would with conventional polyethylene ones.
3) Biodegradable trash bags tend to decompose quite quickly, so if an animal gets to them or if they end up in the water, relatively little harm should be caused. This is an important advantage over conventional plastic bags, which take extremely long time break down.
4) Biodegradable plastic bags can be composted, so it is possible for them to return to nature, as all things should. (To read about oxo-biodegradable plastics, click here).
5) Biodegradable rubbish bags may actually be helping nature in some ways. The main thing is that they are not made from oil-derived materials but from renewable resources.

Disadvantages:
1) The first and most obvious argument against biodegradable trash bags is that they are simply more expensive in comparison to conventional plastic bags. This is because they require innovative methods to create them, which brings the cost up.
2) Another consideration against biodegradable bags is that you have to have an actual composter to make them biodegrade. This makes the whole process look questionable: if they are biodegradable, surely, they should be able to biodegrade more naturally.
3) This brings us to the next big con of these biodegradable rubbish bags is that you will not be able to recycle them along with regular plastics. These bags require special facilities for composting them. So, even though they are considered biodegradable, if they don’t end up the right place, they are as good as regular plastics. Most of them end up in landfills anyway, where it’s virtually impossible for them to biodegrade. (To read get some eco-friendly home tips, click here).
4) Biodegradable bags actually require more energy, more water, and more carbon dioxide emissions to produce than their conventional polyethylene counterparts. This makes one wonder whether the whole thing is actually worth their purchase, since we are still harming the environment in the process.
5) Some companies that market biodegradable bags will actually deceive the consumer by assuring that the bags will, in fact, biodegrade no matter what. We now know this is not the case. (For more articles on bioplasitcs,
The conclusion? Not many people are convinced that the pros outweigh the cons. So, biodegradable bags are far from a solution to our current problem of ‘white pollution’. What we really need to do is start changing our habits of ‘one-time-use’ and utilize reusable bags instead. This is what will make a real difference for the environment.

For more information, go to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodegradable_bags

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