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BIODEGRADABLE and RECYCLABLE PLASTICS - AND SUPERMARKETS

V. Ryan 2011

 

RENEWABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY POLYLACTIDE (PLA)
 
Supermarkets are beginning to stock products packaged in biodegradable materials such as polylactide (PLA). Polylactide is processed from the starch of plants and is a sustainable material. However, one of the most common types of plastic seen on supermarket shelves is polyethylene. This is processed from the fossil fuel oil, a resource that is slowly running out.

Most supermarkets are slowly introducing plastic bottles, food containers, disposable carrier bags and even plastic cutlery,  manufactured from environmentally friendly polylactide.

Polylactide is referred to as a ‘bioplastic’ because of its environmentally friendly nature and as a sustainable material it can be replaced.
 
 
 
 
 
RECYLABLE PLASTICS - AND SUPERMARKETS
RECYCLABLE POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE (PET)
 
Supermarkets often buy from suppliers that use recyclable materials in their packaging. Recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (pet, pete, polyester) is one such material used in packaging. This includes assorted food containers, packaging/containers for microwave able food products, fruit containers and synthetic clothes.
 
REASON 1: RECYCLABILITY - COLLECTION
PET / PETE is 100% recyclable, making it ideal for packaging. It is lightweight and can be crushed / compressed, making it easy to transport to recycling plants. Most supermarkets have collection points, ensuring convenience for customers returning their empty packaging. This means that 'used' PET packaging is recycled into new products. Therefore, it could be said that PET is almost a sustainable material.
 
REASON 2: RECYCLABILITY - REUSE
PET / PETE can be recycled or made into other products. PET fibres are used in synthetic clothing and other forms of textiles. PET fibres are often mixed with natural fibres, combining the properties of both materials. PET fibres can also be used to form products such as wall insulation and clothing.
 
 
 
 
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