The biodegradable adjective qualifies those materials, natural or synthetic , that decompose by the action of common biological agents, usually until they become simple and life-compatible molecules, such as water and carbon dioxide.
This means that all those that can be destroyed by microorganisms such as insects, bacteria or fungi are biodegradable materials .
Advantages of biodegradable products
That a product of daily use is biodegradable is considered highly positive for the conservation of the environment , because when decomposing or degrading numerous nutrients are recycled .
At the same time, the product does not accumulate as such and that decreases the probability of it becoming a source of persistent garbage , as it does with plastic bottles or nylon bags, for example, which are usually seen in some rivers and lakes.
These not only affect the landscape but also alter the ecological balance of natural areas and can become a threat to birds or fish.
On some occasions, however, intermediate degradation products are still toxic , sometimes even more toxic than the original molecule. This happens, for example, with some pesticides that are used to control agricultural pests.
There is an enormous effort at this time to develop biodegradable materials to replace those that are not , and consumers can greatly contribute in that regard through our daily choices.
Promotion of biodegradable products
More and more businesses are delivering their merchandise wrapped in paper and non-plastic bags to the customer, since paper is considered biodegradable and traditional plastic is not.
However, some biodegradable plastics that are made from corn or wheat starch have emerged in recent decades ; these are used, for example, for waste bags.
It is believed that the degradation of these plastics would require a span of six to twenty four months, which is much less than with the traditional plastic derived from petroleum.
There is also a material made from rye starch , presented as a granulated substance, used to make dishes. It is expected that these dishes, which are completely biodegradable, tend to replace disposable plastics that are currently used (made with petroleum products).
The automotive industry has also been making serious efforts to develop biodegradable materials that replace non-biodegradable materials. There are already some countries filled with interior doors of flax fiber cars , and bumpers made from vegetable fibers reinforced with biodegradable resin.
Likewise, 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
- Waste from the fishing industry
- Nicotine-based bipesticides
- Soy wax
- Dried tree leaves
- Pigment-based paints extracted from plants such as turmeric
- Paints based on pigments extracted from minerals such as iron