Traditional polyethylene plastic bags have become a huge environmental problem within the last few decades. It was not too long ago that standard grocery bag was paper, but since plastic bag manufacturing has become so inexpensive, plastic bags are now the norm. Polyethylene plastic bags pose such a problem to the environment because they are made from petroleum byproducts. The plastic bags take a long time to degrade and during the process give off harmful greenhouse gases and other toxic chemicals.
With the push by the government and big business to go green and make more eco-friendly materials such as biodegradable plastic bags and biodegradable packaging, there has been a surge in new technologies and manufacturing processes that have made the choice to buy biodegradable plastic a wise one.
Biodegradable plastic is made up of several natural materials such as starches, vegetable oils, and cellulose. For example, many schools throughout the country have made the choice to buy biodegradable plastic utensils made of corn. Corn plastic is strong and emits no greenhouse gases, unlike their polyethylene counterparts. Shipping companies are deciding to use biodegradable packaging materials such as eco-friendly packing peanuts, and the list goes on and on.