Plastic is everywhere in today’s world – and it is taking a toll on the environment – and perhaps even our own health. Here is a quick comparison of the life cycle of plastic versus biodegradable alternatives…
While biodegradable alternatives to plastic are becoming more popular, the amount of plastic that goes into landfills each year remains staggering. Did you know that 31 MILLION TONS of plastic are discarded every year – just in the U.S.? While plastic can seem convenient in the short term, over the long run, it causes great amounts of environmental damage – and some studies are just beginning to explore what impact these discarded plastics may have on our own health in the future.
Only 8% of plastic waste is recycled, and 77% of trash that ends up in the ocean is plastic – which can harm marine life and ecosystems. And these plastics are not going away anytime soon. Some may types of plastic may take up to 5,000 years to biodegrade! And plastics that break down sooner can send minute particles of plastics into our waterways, food, and even bloodstream (ick!).
Fortunately, there are more and more biodegradable alternatives to plastic – which include paper and other plant-based products, and which break down quickly into carbon dioxide, water, and minerals. Most biodegradable plastic alternatives are completely broken down within 3 years or less.
Here is a snapshot of the life cycle of plastic versus biodegradable alternatives: