Non-compostable petroleum-based plastics pose a significant challenge in the field of municipal solid waste management. Such plastics are particularly problematic for composting when they come in the form of food packaging material because they frequently contaminate otherwise compostable food waste. Compostable bio-plastics have been developed that could potentially eliminate this contamination problem. Issues have arisen, however, with bio-plastics contaminating the waste stream of traditional recyclable plastics. In addition, questions remain regarding the compostability of bio-plastics under various composting conditions. This article reviews the literature on the recycling and composting of plastics. It also presents an empirical study that examined the compostability of bio-plastic food packaging material in a vermicomposting system.
|Keywords:||Plastics, Bio-plastics, Composting, Food Service Packaging, Vermicomposting|
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA
Professor, College of Business, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA
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