Plásticos biodegradables y la necesidad de etiquetado

Plastic today is key to life, we could not think of it without this material, mainly for the great diversity of industries that resort to it for its versatility, lightness, cost, and resistance.

The problem lies mainly in the decomposition time that this type of raw material has, contaminating hundreds of ecosystems in the sea, soil, land, and air. The truth is that the advance of technology allowed the creation and elaboration of much more environmentally friendly containers, made from vegetable resins that replace fossil fuels, this type of material, undoubtedly have great advantages, however, the scope is still very small, compared to the large number of plastic containers that are in circulation around the world.

Compostable or biodegradable plastics are presented as a solution to the environmental damage that every day is more noticeable, however, there is an interesting question in this area that needs to be raised, Can biodegradable plastics solve the problem of plastic pollution?

The answer to this question must be evaluated from different points of view, the first one has to do with obtaining the raw material, that is, how viable is the use of resins that come from vegetables, considering if they are available to everyone if there is enough for the production of a considerable percentage of biodegradable plastics.

The second part is to find out how “green” they are, since many of these resins are added with polymers that do not allow their complete absorption and disintegration without specific treatment. This is because the conditions for their correct degradation such as humidity, oxygen, the presence of nutrients, and microorganisms are essential factors.

Now, it is important to make a distinction between packaging made of a resin of vegetable origin and another packaging that has the ability to be biodegradable. Both options represent a contribution to sustentabilidad en distintos porcentajes, sin embargo, cualquier tipo de envase requiere el conocimiento del consumidor para que su proceso pueda completarse.

It is vitally important that the identification of the type of plastic from which each article or part is manufactured is mandatory since this facilitates the process of selection and separation of plastics and recycling would be easier.

Actualmente no existe una norma que obligue a los fabricantes de productos o insumos plásticos para que se pueda identificar el tipo de plástico del que está compuesta la pieza fabricada; situación que se deja al criterio del fabricante, hacerlo o no.

Se puede constatar en el mercado que existen muchos productos plásticos que no están debidamente identificados por los materiales que han sido fabricados. Esto conlleva grandes problemas ya que no resulta fácil identificar con certeza el tipo de plástico que es, limitando de forma importante su selección y el proceso de reciclaje.

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