I've been browsing core77 for a while to get inspiration, and now come to you to ask a rather tricky question, because I'm looking for the plastic with the lowest carbon footprint available for a project of mine
We all are under pressure from bioplastics manufacturers to use their products (like, PLA, polyactide) because these products are biodegradable and coming from natural sources (??).
I'm asking myself the question of using this kind of materials in my project, but I can't decide because there are at least 3 unkowns I'd like more info on :
- on agro-plastics (better term than bioplastics in my opinion) production : producers need to use corn, or sugar cane, to produce the agro-plastics. Do we have any evaluation of the environmental impact of the production (fertilizers, fuel used for growing & transporting the corn/cane etc.), and is it taken into account when comparing agro-plastics with other oil-based plastics ?
- still on agroplastics production : has it an impact on soil usage - the same kind of concern we've seen growing when people starded doing agro-fuel : if you grow corn to produce agro-fuel, then you're not growing it for food consumption, animal or human. Can this kind of 'soil use competition' happen, with the risk that ppl do grow what they don't eat instead of what they could eat ?
- lastly, it said that agro-plastics are biodegradable. However, it looks like agro-plastics can degrade when submitted to certain levels of humidity and heat, that no one can really reproduce at home to this day - and that there are no recycling plant accepting this kind of agro-plastic to do the biodegradation (at least in France where I live). Thus, a theoretic biodegradability ?
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Having all these questions and limited answers at the moment, I'm considering using Recycled PET to use as the main material for a project of mine - having in mind that recycled PET is, well, already recycled.
Have some of you faced this kind of dilemna in the past ? How did you solve it ?
thanks for the help or links you know dealing with this question !