How Biodegradation Additives Work

Author's Note

I spend a lot of time running and walking the gravel and dirt roads near my Nebraska home. It never ceases to infuriate me when I see the results of intentional and accidental littering; fast-food debris, beer cans and bottles and plastics galore. Yet I know the visible garbage strewn across the landscape is just a small fraction of the waste we all produce. The biggest percentage of trash winds up in landfills, including the stuff that really should be recycled.

The experts I interviewed for this story hastened to say that biodegradable plastics are not a panacea for pollution. They insist that the old rule of reusing what you can and recycling the rest is still applicable to our current state of environmental affairs. But with biodegradable plastics, perhaps our trashy lifestyles will have just a little less impact on generations to come.

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