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Keep Recycling: Additives Don’t Biodegrade Plastics At All

posted: 03/30/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Plastic bottles
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Recycling is still the most efficient way to keep plastic products out of landfills, a new study from Michigan State University confirms. Research shows that additives that claim to break down plastic products, such as water bottles and plastic grocery bags, were ineffective in both landfill and composting environments.

"There was no difference between the plastics mixed with the additives we tested and the ones without," explained Dr. Rafael Auras, study co-author. "The claim is that, with the additives, the plastics will break down to a level in which microorganisms can use the decomposed material as food. That simply did not happen."

The three-year study investigated five common additives and three widespread methods of biodegradation, none of which, researchers concluded, were effective. While composting is an effective way to dispose of organic waste products, recycling is still the best way to dispose of plastics.

Click here for the full news release from Michigan State University

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