Study: Additives Don't Cause Plastics To Degrade

A recent analysis by Michigan State University researchers cast doubts on the effectiveness of compounds intended to promote biodegradation in plastics.

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A recent analysis by Michigan State University researchers cast doubts on the effectiveness of compounds intended to promote biodegradation in plastics.

Michigan State engineers evaluated the effects of five additives on polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate materials during typical disposal conditions.

The study, published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology, found no evidence the compounds increased biodegradability during composting, anaerobic digestion or when buried in soil for three years.

The report recommends that plastics containing those additives not be considered feasible options for composting or anaerobic digestion, and said the findings should have substantial impacts on plastics manufacturers using the compounds

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