Perf Go Green, a new biodegradable plastic company based in New York, has developed a line of products that may significantly aid in eliminating plastic waste. Their products include a wide range of bags, from commercial trash bags to plastic drop cloths. Considering the huge volume of bags that hit the landfill every year, replacing them with a biodegradable alternative could prove to be a huge step towards environmental improvement. And the process behind their creation is just as intriguing.How Biodegradable Plastic is Made:
From the website:
Perf Go Green products incorporate recycled plastics that are combined with an Oxo-Biodegradable proprietary application method to produce the film for its bags. Based on environmental claims statements made by the manufacturer of the Oxo-Biodegradable applied to our bags, when discarded in soil and exposed to the presence of microorganisms, moisture and oxygen, we believe Perf Go Green products biodegrade, decomposing into simple materials found in nature much faster than regular plastics, which can take hundreds of years to break down. Through this process and the use of recycled plastics, Perf Go Green
effectively removes plastic waste from the environment.
There still seems to be some speculation involved in the long-term biodegradability of the Perf bags, as acknowledged on the website. Let’s hope the Oxo-Biodegradable manufacturer’s claims prove accurate, and we see a rise in use of biodegradable plastic bags.
Evidently my (albeit mild) skepticism has proven warranted: I've recently learned that research has been done on these very bags, and they are not in fact, biodegradable. They are made out of recycled plastic, and therefore still more environmentally sound than your garden variety plastic bag. However, the bags "biodegrade" only by dissolving into still-existent tiny plastic particles that can then move in groundwater. They cannot be reabsorbed into the earth in any way that could really be considered sustainable.
More on Biodegradable Plastics:
Natureworks PLA Biodegradable Plastic Packaging
Argentinian Scientists Develop Biodegradable Material Similar to Plastic