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Topic: Replacing Plastic bottles with biodegradable methods. 1.

) 'GreenBottle' a greener solution to replace plastic bottles

Most plastic is not biodegradable and is made from oil - a depleting and expensive resource. Prices of plastic bottles have increased substantially with the increase in the price of oil. GreenBottle has a much greener solution which can replace plastic bottles. The outer shell is made from paper which can then be recycled, or if left it will just decompose within a matter of weeks. GreenBottles inner liner, which takes up less than 0.5% of the space of a plastic bottle if dumped in a landfill, prevents liquid from contaminating the paper outer. GreenBottles can be used for milk, juices, smoothies, yoghurt drinks, squashes and concentrates, water, shampoos, hand creams, liquid detergents, engine oils and probably many more liquids that we don't even know about yet. Plastic milk bottles are mostly made from High Density Polyethylene ("HDPE") and require an estimated 500 years to decompose and account for 130,000 tonnes of landfill waste in the UK each year. When the cap is left on, the disposed plastic bottle takes up a large volume of space in the landfill and is difficult to crush. Laminated cardboard cartons that are used as containers for milk and other non-carbonated drinks also pose environmental problems because they are made with plastic coated lamination and are extremely slow to biodegrade. Some laminated containers also contain aluminium elements and other materials which prevent

their disposal into the general recycling schemes. The UK uses over 5 million tonnes of plastic each year. All the 2 litre plastic milk bottles used in the UK each year would fill the Albert Hall 50 times over.

2.)Biodegradable Items That Can Replace Plastic

Of the billions of bottles sold each year, eight of every 10 goes to the landfill after use. Plastic is a proven hazard to the environment in several ways. Plastic products persist in the environment long after use, creating one such hazard. The plastic in landfills persists after other waste has degraded into usable earth. The widespread use of plastic within households make congestion a larger problem for landfills everywhere. Several biodegradable alternatives have been created to reduce and eventually replace plastic waste. Some of these alternatives are already available on retail shelves, available for consumers to purchase.

Definition of Biodegradable
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines biodegradable products as any items that can be broken down into a substance that can become a part of its environment. The breakdown process must occur via organic activities, such as being consumed and then discarded by

microorganisms. Ultimately, the item can no longer exist in the environment in its original form. Bioplastics must meet this requirement before they can be labeled biodegradable.

Introduction to Bioplastics
The household-goods market has already seen plastic replacements in the form of bioplastics. Made from wheat, corn, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, the bioplastics are viable biodegradable options. They are made to replace the plastic containers, utensils and food packing that many people use every day. There are two prominent bioplastics on the market, polyhydroxalkanoate and polylactic acid. Known as PHA and PLA, these bioplastics are increasingly used in place of traditional plastics in many products. (See Reference 2) Biodegradable plastics are plastics that can be biologically broken down, in a reasonable amount of time, into their base compounds. They may be composed of:

"Bioplastics", whose components are derived from renewable raw materials Traditional petroleum-based plastics containing biodegradable additives which allow them to enhance the biodegradation of plastic.

Environmental benefits of biodegradable plastics depend upon proper disposal


There is much debate about the total carbon, fossil fuel and water usage in manufacturing bioplastics from natural materials and whether they are a negative impact to human food supply. It takes 2.65 pounds of corn to make a pound of polylactic acid, the most common commercially compostable plastic. Since 270 million tonnes of plastic are made every year,replacing conventional plastic with corn-derived polylactic acid would remove 715 million tonnes from the world's food supply, at a time when global warming is reducing tropical farm productivity. Traditional plastics made from non-renewable fossil fuels lock up much of the carbon in the plastic as opposed to being utilized in the processing of the plastic. The carbon is permanently trapped inside the plastic lattice, and is rarely recycled, if you neglect to include the diesel, pesticides, and fertilizers used to grow the food turned into plastic. There is concern that another greenhouse gas, methane, might be released when any biodegradable material, including truly biodegradable plastics, degrades in an anaerobic (landfill) environment. Methane production from 594 managed landfill environments is captured and used for energy, some landfills burn this off called flaring to reduce the release of methane in the environment. In the US, most landfilled materials today go into landfills where they capture the methane biogas for use in clean, inexpensive energy. Of course, incinerating non-biodegradable

plastics will release carbon dioxide as well. Disposing of biodegradable plastics made from natural materials in anaerobic (landfill) environments will result in the plastic lasting for hundred of years. Bacteria have developed the ability to degrade plastics. This has already happened with nylon: two types of nylon eating bacteria, Flavobacteria and Pseudomonas, were found in 1975 to possess enzymes (nylonase) capable of breaking down nylon. While not a solution to the disposal problem, it is likely that bacteria have developed the ability to consume hydrocarbons. In 2008, a 16-year-old boy reportedly isolated two plastic-consuming bacteria.

Advantages and disadvantages


Under proper conditions biodegradable plastics can degrade to the point where microorganisms can completely metabolise them to carbon dioxide (and water). For example, starch-based bioplastics produced from sustainable farming methods could be almost carbon neutral (although widespread adoption might result in higher food prices). There are concerns that "Oxo Biodegradable (OBD)" plastic bags may release metals, and may require a great deal of time to degrade in certain circumstances.Furthermore, OBD plastics may produce tiny fragments of plastic that do not continue to degrade at any appreciable rate regardless of the environment.

Environmental concerns; benefits


Over 200 million tons of plastic are manufactured annually around the world, according to the Society of Plastics Engineers Of those 200 million tons, 26 million are manufactured in the United States. The EPA reported in 2003 that only 5.8% of those 26 million tons of plastic waste are recycled, although this is increasing rapidly. Much of the reason for disappointing plastics recycling goals is that conventional plastics are often commingled with organic wastes (food scraps, wet paper, and liquids), making it difficult and impractical to recycle the underlying polymer without expensive cleaning and sanitizing procedures. On the other hand, composting of these mixed organics (food scraps, yard trimmings, and wet, non-recyclable paper) is a potential strategy for recovering large quantities of waste and dramatically increase community recycling goals. Food scraps and wet, non-recyclable paper comprises 50 million tons of municipal solid waste. Biodegradable plastics can replace the nondegradable plastics in these waste streams, making municipal composting a significant tool to divert large amounts of otherwise nonrecoverable waste from landfills. Compostable plastic combine the utility of plastics (lightweight, resistance, relative low cost) with the ability to completely and fully compost in an industrial compost facility. Rather than

worrying about recycling a relatively small quantity of commingled plastics, proponents argue that certified biodegradable plastics can be readily commingled with other organic wastes, thereby enabling composting of a much larger position of nonrecoverable solid waste. Commercial composting for all mixed organics then becomes commercially viable and economically sustainable. More municipalities can divert significant quantities of waste from overburdened landfills since the entire waste stream is now biodegradable and therefore easier to process. The use of biodegradable plastics, therefore, is seen as enabling the complete recovery of large quantities of municipal sold waste (via aerobic composting) that have heretofore been unrecoverable by other means except land filling or incineration.

Energy costs for production


Various researchers have undertaken extensive life cycle assessments of biodegradable polymers to determine whether these materials are more energy efficient than polymers made by conventional fossil fuel-based means. Research done by Gerngross, et al. estimates that the fossil fuel energy required to produce a kilogram of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is 50.4 MJ/kg.which coincides with another estimate by Akiyama, et al.,who estimate a value between 50-59 MJ/kg. This information does not take into account the feedstock energy, which can be obtained from non-fossil fuel based methods. Polylactide (PLA) was estimated to have a fossil fuel energy cost of 54-56.7 from two sources,but recent developments in the commercial production of PLA by NatureWorks has eliminated some dependence fossil fuel based energy by supplanting it with wind power and biomass-driven strategies. They report making a kilogram of PLA with only 27.2 MJ of fossil fuel-based energy and anticipate that this number will drop to 16.6 MJ/kg in their next generation plants. In contrast, polypropylene and high density polyethylene require 85.9 and 73.7 MJ/kg respectively,but these values include the embedded energy of the feedstock because it is based on fossil fuel. Gerngross reports a 2.65 total fossil fuel energy equivalent (FFE) required to produce a single kilogram of PHA, while polypropylene only requires 2.2 kg FFE.Gerngross assesses that the decision to proceed forward with any biodegradable polymer alternative will need to take into account the priorities of society with regard to energy, environment, and economic cost. Furthermore, it is important to realize the youth of alternative technologies. Technology to produce PHA, for instance, is still in development today, and energy consumption can be further reduced by eliminating the fermentation step, or by utilizing food waste as feedstock.The use of alternative crops other than corn, such as sugar cane from Brazil, are expected to lower energy requirements- manufacturing of PHAs by fermentation in Brazil enjoys a favorable energy consumption scheme where bagasse is used as source of renewable energy. Many biodegradable polymers that come from renewable resources (i.e., starch-based, PHA, PLA) also compete with food production, as the primary feedstock is currently corn. For the US to meet its current output of plastics production with BPs, it would require 1.62 square meters

per kilogram produced.While this space requirement could be feasible, it is always important to consider how much impact this large scale production could have on food prices and the opportunity cost of using land in this fashion versus alternatives.

biodegradable Bottles is made of PMS meterial which can be broken down to Carbon Dioxide(CO2) and Water (H2O).

3.)Researchers Make Biodegradable Plastic Bottles from Olive Skins

Soon you may be able to buy olive oil in bioplastic bottles made from a compound
found in olive skins, thanks to the work of a Spanish researcher. CLOSELY RELATED: New Twist on Traditional Olive Press New Phase for Greek Olive Mills Oli-PHA Project Develops Greener Packaging from Olive Mill Waste Jess Zorrilla has found a way to extract PHAs (poly-hydroxy-alcanoates) from the residues of olive skins, which in turn can be used to make plastic containers that are non-toxic and 100 percent biodegradable. According to a press release from Jaens Sierra de Segura, an olive oil denomination of origin, Zorrilla used byproducts from one of the D.O.s olive oil mills to develop the compound.

Not only would the bioplastic containers be suitable for food, they would be ideal for olive oil, because unlike conventional plastic bottles derived from petroleum, they avoid any risk of carcinogenic polymers migrating into the oil, the D.O. said. They also have factors that protect oil from oxidation caused by exposure to light. Furthermore, this new bioplastic would provide a way to make use of the olive skin residue from olive oil production, which currently has no economic value. An olive oil mill which processes about 10,000 tons of olives a year could obtain 30,000 kilos of bioplastic, which would bring in additional revenue of 200,000 ($268,000). Patent development is underway and Zorrilla is keen to hear from any companies involved in packaging or research and development that might be interested in helping finance the remaining phase.