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A Compostable Plastic A Compostable Plastic

A Compostable Plastic

by Andrew Price
February 20, 2010

Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a plastic that can be composed at home and could be used for all sorts of food packaging. This is excellent news:
The degradable polymer is made from sugars produced from the breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass, which comes from non-food crops such as fast-growing trees and grasses, or renewable biomass from agricultural or food waste. ...This is significant as the leading biorenewable plastic, polylactide, is formed in a high energy process requiring large volumes of water. In addition, when it reaches the end of its life polylactide must be degraded in a high-temperature industrial facility.In contrast, the oxygen-rich sugars in the new polymer allow it to absorb water and degrade to harmless products – meaning it can be tossed on the home compost heap and used to feed the garden.
Even better: It isn't too expensive to produce.It doesn't have a brand name yet, though it surely will soon. For now just refer to it by its chemical name: Poly(acetic acid-5-acetoxy-6-oxo -tetrahydro-pyran-2-yl-methyl ester) and copoly(lactic acid-ran-acetic acid-5- acetoxy-6-oxo-tetrahydro-pyran-2-yl-methyl ester).Via Inhabitat.
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