As most plastic bags are produced with non-renewable degradable materials, the plastic structure is stable and not easily degraded by natural microbial bacteria, which do not separate in the natural environment for a long time. It is extremely harmful to the land, which will change the pH of the land and seriously pollute the soil, affecting the absorption of nutrients and water by crops, leading to a reduction in agricultural production, and affecting the sustainable use of land. And incineration of harmful soot and toxic gases produced by the same will also cause pollution of the atmospheric environment. So now plastic bags have become the 20th-century mankind's "worst invention".
Plastic bags have a low recycling value and do not separate in the natural environment for a long time. This means that waste plastic waste, if not recycled, will become a permanent pollutant in the environment and continue to accumulate, which will cause great harm to the environment.
Threat to the survival of animals: Waste plastic products discarded on land or in water bodies are swallowed by animals as food, resulting in the death of animals. Such incidents are common in zoos, pastoral areas, rural areas, and oceans. Impact on Agriculture
Waste plastic products mixed in the soil continue to accumulate, which will affect the absorption of nutrients and water by crops, resulting in reduced crop yields.
Harmful to the land: waste plastics filled with garbage will not only occupy a large amount of land but also the occupied land will not be restored for a long time, affecting the sustainable use of land. Waste plastic products that go into domestic waste do not degrade for 200 years if they are landfilled. It is extremely harmful to the land.
Plastic products are not toxic substances, but because its recycling equipment is not a perfect, simple process, and many manufacturers do not have a legal business license, resulting in the reproduction of plastic products in the temperature reaches 65 ℃, the toxic substances will precipitate and penetrate into the food, it will be on the liver, kidneys, reproductive system and central nervous system and other important parts of the human body caused by the harm.
Plastic bags on the environment: plastic bags on the environment - "white pollution", the main culprit of this pollution problem is people in the massive use of plastic bags. Today, food packaging bags, tea bags, chemical packaging bags, steaming bags, pesticide belts, seed bags, and so on are almost all plastic bags. Plastic bags are prevalent, and plastic bags have been integrated into the daily life of modern people, it can be said that the use of plastic bags has been "pervasive".
Soil is a vital non-renewable resource that plays a central role in our lives by providing healthy food and sustainable materials for a growing world population.
The European Bioplastics Association believes that it is crucial that the new law takes into account and supports the importance of compostable plastics. They can bring multiple benefits for composting and organic waste management.
1. Convenient collection of food waste
Compostable plastic bags help in segregating and collecting bio-waste and also recycling the food scraps attached to the packaging along with the food scraps that would be discarded if the packaging is sifted out of the waste stream. They also reduce the contamination of compost from traditional plastics, reduce moisture content, and increase expansion, which is useful when composting food waste.
2. Beneficial for industrial and home composting
The value of industrial compostable plastics (certified according to the harmonized European standard EN 13432) is that they can be used as an additional waste disposal option through organic recycling and provide a more efficient method of separate collection of household food waste. The best example of this is compostable plastics in Italy, where compostable packaging is widely supported and used. In 2018, the separate household food waste recycling rate reached 80%.
3. favoring the reduction of microplastics
By improving the separate collection of organic waste, industrial compostable plastics also help to reduce the contamination of biowaste with conventional plastics and ultimately reduce microplastics in fossil-based polymers in compost. Because biodegradable polymers do not break down into permanent secondary microplastics when they degrade, microorganisms capable of metabolizing these polymers exist in most natural environments. Therefore, biodegradable plastics help minimize environmental impacts and reduce the accumulation of microplastic particles in different environments.
4. Biodegradable mulch does not accumulate in the soil
Soil biodegradable mulches are a good example of the industrial use of biodegradable plastics. They have been on the market for many years and play a vital role in modern agriculture as they help increase yields, improve crop quality, enhance weed control, and reduce water irrigation and pesticides. Compared to conventional (PE) plastic mulch, soil biodegradable mulch fully biodegrades in less than two years and does not accumulate in the soil. The advantages over conventional mulch have also been recognized by the United Nations. Soil health is also protected by a strict certification process. The European standard EN 17033 sets out clear requirements for the biodegradation of mulch used in agriculture and horticulture.
5. Contributing to carbon reduction
When developing the new soil health law, the European Commission should also consider that organic recycling generates carbon sinks. Some of the carbon stored in biowaste converted to compost through organic recycling can be converted to a very stable form and retained in the soil for decades. As industrial compostable plastics help to feed more bio waste into organic recycling, they help to create carbon sinks and contribute to CO2 reduction.