According to a study performed by Tel Aviv University, “environmentally friendly” cutlery like utensils and plates made with bioplastics is actually posing a threat to marine species.
Previously, it was thought that disposable tableware made out of bioplastics was much better for the environment than normal plastic because it would decompose quicker and pose fewer risks to fish, birds, and other sea creatures.
Now, this study from Tel Aviv University claims that bioplastics decompose at a similar rate to traditional plastics, negating any huge environmental benefit.
What’s worse is that these bioplastics pose the most severe threat to marine life with how they are disposed of. Ocean critters are already under threat from enough plastic debris and overfishing.
“At least in the short term, both types of plastic have a similar detrimental effect, Prof. Shenkar says. ‘Bioplastics are made of natural materials and, in that sense, they are more beneficial environmentally speaking. But they may also contain toxins just like regular plastic dishes and they do not biodegrade quickly in the aquatic habitat. In fact, the standard appearing on the label is dated. It doesn’t refer at all to different kinds of plastic additives and speaks of biodegrading within 180 days, but that is specifically under conditions available only in industrial composting settings.’”
To read the entire analysis in ScienceDaily, click here.
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