In Reply to: bio-degradeable plastic posted by Andy on 01/20/02 at 12:07 PM:
This remains a matter of contention, mostly based on what one constitutes as bio-degradeable. In some cases, certain plastic manufacturers have been known to define it in such as way to make the answer "YES". However, in the real world of you and me: "NO".
The main problem is that your question involves a process associated with oxygen. In a landfill, 1-2" of material on top of the plastic can create an anaerobic situation (no oxygen) and, therefore, inhibit breakdown. Even materials that we would normally associate with rapid degredation (paper, animal feces, etc.) will actually be preserved in this low-or-no oxygen atmosphere.
To the best of my understanding, the current focus has been either on creating microbes that will break down the plastics in certain environments, or in just creating better mechanisms to recycle. Thus far, the latter has a proven track record of being more successful.
Hopefully this helps.