In Reply to: Biodegradeable Plastic posted by Carl Rosier on 09/24/01 at 12:02 PM:
You and everyone else... although I do not have a reference for you, just a few thoughts to consider:
1) Be very careful of those that claim they offer bio-degradeable plastics. Alwasy ask the EXACT parameters under which it degrades as in you'll typically find these to be very narrow indeed;
2) Even other bio-degradeable items do not necessarily degrade in a landfill. For example, throw 2" of fill on top of even a newspaper and it will usually remain in stasis for years/decades (no oxygen in the soil).
If your desire is to run a "green" operation for either personal or consumer relation purposes, your efforts might come back to haunt you as you and your consumers watch the piles of your containers (that were supposed to break-down) reach Everest-like proportions. Good intentions can lead to bad results.
Have you considered sponsoring a recyclable program instead? Although my company does not make products of this nature and, therefore, has no axe to grind in this arena, if you are talking containers like milk jugs, etc. there are many responsible after-origin uses such as playground equipment, park benches, composite lumbers, and even polar-tech jackets. No matter how one degrades the "bio-degradeable" plastic you desire, it still ends up releasing some petroleum components back into the earth.
You may find positive public relations, an after-market materials revenue source, and even a tax break by sponsoring a responsible recycling program. I'd suggest you contact your local government (small to mid-size business) or your tax people (big corporates) for details.
PS. If you're talking BIG containers, pallets, etc., then you'd benifit from a direct incentive program w/your customers for credit of returned damaged units, then rework the materials back into your production. My company can offer assistance in that arena should you wish, but we will not abuse the forum by promoting that here and will only send that information to someone upon request.
Hope this helps.