Plastic Waste Impacts

While plastics have added convenience to our lives, the environmental effects of plastic pollution persist.

Plastic Products Can Persist in Landfills For Hundreds of Years

Flexible, resilient, and durable – plastics have facilitated innovation and convenience in almost every area of American life. From our medical supplies to our food storage containers, plastic is a commonplace and inexpensive solution for many Americans. But, plastic is not without its flaws. Strong polymers in plastic are extremely resistant to natural biodegradation* processes. This means that traditional plastic products can persist in landfills for hundreds of years, if not indefinitely.

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Consider the lifespan of these popular plastic products:

450 years
Plastic Water Bottle
500 years
Disposable Diapers
450 Years
Plastic 6-Pack Collar

over 5,000 years
Extruded Polystyrene Foam

There is no denying their benefit, but how do we manage persistent plastic waste at the point of production? While it only takes 12 minutes to create a plastic bag, it takes 500 years, or more, for the plastic to completely biodegrade* in a landfill. At the very least, that’s over five normal human life spans.

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Environmental Effects of Plastic Pollution

It is not just the accumulation of plastics that harms the environment—it is also the fragments and toxins released during photo-decomposition that pollute our soil and water.

Some plastics are designed to degrade quickly, such as Oxo-Degradables and while they may become less noticeable, they are still present in the environment. For example, in ocean environments, plastic fragments are taken in by filter-feeding organisms. When tiny plankton ingest plastic, animals up the food chain can bioaccumulate larger quantities.

Floating plastic waste that can survive thousands of years in water can serve as a transportation device for invasive species that disrupt habitats.

The abundance of plastic production in the past 40 years has created a host of landfill problems. Burning plastics is not a viable alternative as it generates harmful toxins and recycling efforts often do not match the demand of plastics for consumers. As a result, plastics continue to fill up landfills.

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The Solution

At Bio-Tec Environmental, we do not believe eliminating plastics from personal or business use is the answer. Plastics are not the problem – the science and manufacturing process is.

Our solution is EcoPure®. In an actively managed landfill, EcoPure® allows plastics to break down naturally and biodegrade*. This revolutionary plastic additive is readily available and easy to add into any existing polymer manufacturing process, requiring no retooling or upgrades to existing equipment.