The adjective biodegradable qualify those materials, natural or synthetic, which are broken down by common biological agents, usually to simple molecules compatible with life, such as water and carbon dioxide. For instance: wood, wool, paper, cardboard.
This means that they are biodegradable materials all those that can be destroyed by microorganisms such as insects, bacteria or fungi.
Advantages of biodegradable products
That a daily use product be biodegradable is considered highly positive for the conservation of the environment, because when decomposing or degrading many nutrients are recycled.
At the same time, the product does not accumulate as such and that decreases the probability that it will become a source of persistent garbage, as is the case with plastic bottles or nylon bags, for example, which are often seen in some rivers and lakes.
You are not alone they ugly the landscape rather, they alter the ecological balance of natural areas and can become a threat to birds or fish.
Sometimes, however, intermediate degradation products are still toxic, sometimes even more toxic than the original molecule. This happens, for example, with some pesticides used to control agricultural pests.
There is a huge effort at this time to develop biodegradable materials to replace those that are not, and the consumers We can contribute in that direction to a great extent through our daily choices.
Promotion of biodegradable products
More and more businesses are delivering their merchandise to the customer wrapped in paper and non-plastic bags, since paper is considered biodegradable and traditional plastic is not.
However, some biodegradable plastics that are made from corn or wheat starch; These are used, for example, for waste bags.
It is believed that the degradation of these plastics would require a period of six to twenty-four months, which is much less than with traditional plastic derived from petroleum.
There is also a material made with rye starch, presented as a granulated substance, used to make dishes. It is expected that these dishes, which are completely biodegradable, will tend to replace the disposable plastics that are used today (which are made with petroleum products) on the market.
The automotive industry has also been making serious efforts to develop biodegradable materials to replace non-biodegradable ones. In some countries there are already fillings for interior doors of automobiles from flax fiber, and bumpers made from vegetal fibers reinforced with biodegradable resin.
Also, plastics made from rye or compressed fibers have already been patented.
Examples of biodegradable materials
- Fruit peels
- Some detergents
- Waste from the sugar industry
- Waste from the wine industry
- Fishing industry waste
- Nicotine-based bipesticides
- Soy wax
- Dry tree leaves
- Paints based on pigments extracted from plants such as turmeric
- Paints based on pigments extracted from minerals such as iron