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April 2012

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xhile in antiplastik

Plastic Oceans, Plastic People

http://www.bestlifeonline.com/cms/publish/health/Our_oceans_are_turning_into_plastic_are_we_2.php

From silence to a flood! ;)

I saw this on another LJ community. It's another that mentions the "island" (s) or stew of plastic, and captain Charles Moore, the (alleged?) poisonous leaching from plastics, the poor recycling possibilities and more.

While somewhat alarmist - and if it's all true, who wouldn't be alarmed? - it summarises a few themes we've seen here before.







listening to Pulp | Common People

Comments

Not actually true. Some plastics biodegrade or photodegrade.
Hi Rich *waves* :)

I think I read that photodegrading is faster than biodegrading, which is an argument for not having plastics buried away from the light in landfills.

I'm not sure when plastic biodegrades to a point where the actual plastic molecules themselves are broken down.

For that matter, although i can take a guess at "molecules being completely broken down into their constituent atoms", i don't know what the definition of "complete" biodegradation is.

I'd like some open-minded chemists to contribute; maybe I need to hunt some down. I'm a little out of my depth in some of this.

nb, not at ALL wanting to shut down debate. I don't claim to know everything about this by any means. :-)
Recording this while I have it handy:

"There are other plastic materials that claim biodegradability, but are more often (and possibly more accurately) described as 'degradable' or oxi-degradable; It is claimed that this process causes more rapid breakdown of the plastic materials into CO2 and H2O."

from the *cough* Wikipedia article on biodegradation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodegrade#Indicative_lengths_of_degradation

which also lists times for some plastics to degrade, but i suspect some of these times are far too short. I may be wrong. Also depends on where these items degrade: Surface (sunlight) may degrade faster than burial.