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December 2010 Issue

The Eco-Facts on “Green” Plastics and Disposables

Eco-friendly plastics and disposables may sound more like oxymorons than earth-friendly concepts, but they are a positive move in greener living. Eco-plastics. Various eco-friendly "plastics" are available and the number is growing. Recycled plastics are made either completely or partially from traditional, petroleum-based plastics. They donít biodegrade any faster than traditional plastic, but they donít end up in a landfill. Bioplastics are the most common form of compostable plastics, appearing as shopping bags, eating utensils, and garbage sacks, to name a few. They are usually made of polyactide (PLA), a fiber made of mostly corn starch, but also potato starch, soybean protein, sugarcane fiber and cellulose.

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