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Bioplastics Not Necessarily the Greenest


Bioplastics would seem to be a positive development in many ways. Rather than needing to have petroleum extracted and processed to supply the good choice levitra without prescription feedstock for making plastic, plant-based materials are used instead. However, a study by University of Pittsburgh researchers finds that plant-based plastics are not necessarily greener than petroleum-based ones.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers looked at several life-cycle factors. Factoring in side effects of farming needed to we recommend cialis testimonial produce the feedstock needed to produce bioplastics, there are issues such as eutrophication of waterways, ozone depletion, and even carcinogens where some bioplastics fared poorly.

Twelve different plastics were evaluated in the study. In addition to the life cycle analysis, the plastics were also ranked according to green design principles. The production of some petroleum plastics had a better score than the bioplastics did. "Once in use, however, biopolymers bested traditional polymers for ecofriendliness." Polypropolene, for example, dropped from 1st place for production to 9th place as a sustainable material.

"Each polymer is also assessed for its adherence to green design principles using metrics generated specifically for this paper. Metrics include atom economy, mass from renewable sources, biodegradability, percent recycled, distance of furthest feedstock, price, life cycle health hazards and life cycle energy use. A decision matrix is used to generate single value metrics for each polymer evaluating either adherence to green design principles or life-cycle environmental impacts. Results from this study show a qualified positive correlation between adherence to green design principles and a reduction of the environmental impacts of production. The qualification results from a disparity between biopolymers and petroleum polymers. While biopolymers rank highly in terms of green design, they exhibit relatively large environmental impacts from production."

It should be pointed out that this study is based on current methods of production. So, while the bioplastics are not necessarily the visit web site viagra prescription label greenest option at present, improved production practices could improve their relative ranking. Farming methods that reduce fertilizer use could help decrease the eutrophication scores, for example.

The results of click now best online generic viagra this study should not necessarily be used to bash bioplastics or to make the contrarian argument that petroleum ought to continue to be used. Petroleum is, after all, a finite resource, and alternative stocks will eventually need to be embraced. Producers of both petroleum-based plastics and levitra gel bioplastics could work with this study to identify the most damaging aspects of their methods in order to reduce their environmental impacts.

via: Building Green

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Comments (5)Add Comment
Oil products should be stopped
written by renewable energy, December 04, 2010
I believe that use of plastics, and other oil based products should be phased out, to facilitate and encourage innovation into other sustainable and renewable sources. See article
Can't really do that
written by Julian, December 05, 2010
Plastics and oil subproducts are knitted into the entire fabric of the modern world, whether we like it or not. They cross all of the industrial and productive matrixes, they're used (knowingly or unknowingly) in nearly all of human activities in every single country in the world.

No regulation can stop the use of plastics and oil based products, and I'm normally an optimistic person, but my realistic side emerges on this: I'm convinced the general population can't be convinced not to use plastics anymore. That would mean, just to cheap cialis soft name one example, no more computers or technology at all. That alone could end up being more chaotic and harmful (both to humanity as well to the rest of the environment) than reaching the generic companies sale tramadol limits of cialis pfizer india sustainability...
There is recommended site cialis samples in canada a very distant solution
written by Tem, December 06, 2010
Create an organism that can munch away at the petroleum based plastic materials, with their waste being an environmentally benign or beneficial product. The truth is tiny organisms already eat tire dust on online viagra fast the sides of our roads, thats why we don't see mountains of the stuff piling up on the side of the road. This process might already be happening.

written by Anthony, December 06, 2010
The U. of Pittsburgh study is arguably flawed beyond providing useful insight into this issue:
@Tem: Tire dust
written by Simon, December 08, 2010
Tire dust is not eaten by organisms, this is a popular urban myth which is unfortunately believed by many non scientific people. The dust is transported by water and wind.

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