A material said of a thousand virtues has become a threat to the environment because of one of its advantages: durability. Although products made from petro-sourced plastics are not necessarily long lasting, their components persist decades in the environment. Even degraded into fine particles these plastics remain harmful to the fauna especially those of the oceans.
People’s conversion to recycling has been dazzling over the last forty years. Today, nearly 100% of Canadian cities offer a recycling program which significantly reduces the pressure on the environment. Yet, despite the efforts, in December 2017 the UN decreed the oceans’ contamination by plastics a global crisis. One of the big culprits: packaging, mainly plastic bags and bottles. Even the infamous bottles of water that are turned into fleece textiles end up in the oceans as the garment wears with each wash of the product.
Petroleum, the source of 99% of plastics produced today (according to European Bioplastic, Nova Institutes 2016), is the result of organic material subjected to centuries of transformation under geological plates. Oil, although originally from a plant, oddly enough, is not biological. Its conversion into plastic products also results in strong emissions of harmful gases.
We are now increasingly successful in short-circuiting the millennia required for oil production by manufacturing plastics directly derived from plants, cellulose and / or starch. Fortunately, these so-called bio-based plastics are mostly biodegradable, therefore harmless to the oceans.
Bioplastics are particularly relevant for packaging or single-use products. This is what motivated Vegetal Alternative to deliver its products with fully biodegradable packaging and reduced to a minimum.
If the 20th century was that of oil, the 21st is well on its way to becoming that of bio-sourced. It’s up to us the make choices accordingly; let's opt for biodegradable.
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