Today on Valentine’s day 2019, marine biodegrade plastic does not exist. Forget about all the marketing on biodegradable plastics, there is no certified marine biodegradable plastic, period. So what does this mean?
All biodegrade plastic at sea will stay there for a long time. Long enough to be eaten by fish, birds, turtles and plankton. Long enough for us BarcelonaSail to fish it out during our plastic fishing events. And when we try to fish out the biodegradable plastic, it breaks into smaller pieces. So now we need catch all the plastic pieces. For our plastic fisher men and women that is no fun.
Marine biodegradable plastic does not exist, and we do not like the term “biodegradable” at all. There are no rules and certifications, everybody can call their product biodegradable. Why? Because if you wait long enough 400 years or more, all things will decay, decompose or rot in nature and are therefore “biodegradable”.
The term biodegradable plastic creates a lot of confusion and gives a false sense of buying something environmentally correct. So we say just stay away from single use plastic. You safe your yourself a headache on finding out which single use plastic bags is environmentally correct and you always contribute more to the global warming than using a multi use bag. Save time and money and buy multi use bags, coffee cups and water bottles.
In Europe and the United States, certifications for biodegradable plastics are issued. At the moment there are 8 different certificates in Europe for biodegradable, depending on how well and under which circumstances the plastic decay, decompose and rot. OK compost industrial, OK compost home, OK biodegradable soil, OK biodegradable water, OK biodegradable marine, Seedling, OK biobased, NEN bio-based content. But never has the marine biodegradable plastic certificate been issued.
There are a few plastics that do decompose fast and in way that actually is beneficial to nature. However only under certain, almost laboratory, conditions with elevated temperatures and certain moist and oxygen setting. Again also these bags do not have a marine biodegrade certificate!
Having questions on single use plastics, biodegradable plastics, and you are the owner of a restaurant than you should read the next blog. Single use biodegradable plastic in restaurants.