One comment to ““Biodegradable,” a Magic Word for Environmentally-Minded Consumers, Isn’t Always a Green Panacea”

  1. Matthew Mabey

    “Reduce, reuse, recycle” is in priority order.
    Composting produces greenhouse gases and the resulting compost continues to biodegrade in landscaping it continues to produce greenhouse gases. This is true of cellulose and chitin based products too.
    One aspect of the current pandemic is that it has focused attention on how the medical-industrial complex has shifted so completely to disposable supplies. Thus, instead of being able to just wash and reuse masks, gowns, and other equipment, we need to manufacture and ship more. I honestly don’t know which is better for the environment, but I am pretty sure that no one else does either. To date, most attempts at accounting for such things have not been particularly honest or complete.
    I do know that fossil fuels are the primary raw material for all the disposable stuff we produce for both medical uses and everything else. Animal and plant based raw materials shrink the time for the loop of the carbon cycle that is involved, but they are part of the same carbon cycle. They rely on captured sunlight as the energy source, just more recent sunlight than is the case for coal or petroleum.
    Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Leave a comment