Biodegradable plastic may not degrade as quickly as expected

CountryMiddle east

Have you picked up a product at the supermarket which claims to have plant-based or biodegradable packaging? You might think you’re doing a favour for the environment. But the makers of bioplastics have urged consumers to double check what it says on the packaging, because it might not be as biodegradable as you think.It’s becoming more common to see plastics described as biodegradable or compostable but it doesn’t mean you can be carefree with how you dispose of them."When I hear the words biodegradable - for me - that’s going to be like an apple that’s going to disappear within weeks," says marine scientist Imogen Napper.Napper has tested to see how a range of different plastic bags would degrade in different environments."We buried them in the soil, we submerged them in the sea, we hung them outside," she says. "All of the bags didn’t completely disappear in all of the environments. We had some biodegradable bags that did disappear more...