Do Compostable Bags Break Down In The Ocean?

Jan. 12, 2024

Compostable plastics do not actually decompose

 in the ocean

Do Compostable Bags Break Down In The Ocean?cid=5

The latest research reveals that a commonly used compostable plastic can maintain its properties unchanged for at least 14 months in marine environments. The study emphasizes the difference between textile materials such as polylactic acid and cellulose textile materials. The former can be composted in a managed industrial environment, while the latter can be biodegraded in a natural environment.

The accumulation and persistence of petroleum based plastic waste in the ocean is one of the main ecological problems faced by marine organisms. Macroscopic plastic products such as discarded water bottles entering the ocean may exist in their original form for decades; Even if they break down into tiny fragments (called microplastics), they will not be biodegraded, but become indigestible pollutants that penetrate into the ocean.


The threat of plastic pollution to marine ecosystems mainly manifests in the following aspects:

Firstly, plastic waste causes direct harm to marine life. Marine organisms such as fish, turtles, and birds often ingest plastic debris floating in the ocean. These plastic fragments can clog their digestive tract, leading to poor nutrient absorption, hunger, and death. In addition, plastic waste can also entangle the bodies of marine organisms, leading to suffocation, disability, and even death.

Secondly, plastic pollution disrupts the balance of marine ecosystems. Plastic waste can alter the chemical properties of the ocean, release harmful substances, and pollute seawater. These harmful substances can enter the marine food chain, affecting the growth and reproduction of marine organisms. At the same time, plastic waste can also damage the ecosystem at the bottom of the ocean, affecting the habitat of marine organisms and the stability of the ecosystem.

Once again, plastic pollution poses a potential threat to human health. Plastic waste in the ocean will gradually decompose into microplastic particles, which will then enter the ocean food chain. When humans consume contaminated seafood, microplastic particles may enter the human body, posing potential risks to human health. Research has shown that microplastic particles may cause health problems such as endocrine disorders, immune system damage, and cancer.


So plastic bag garbage in our hands cannot be discarded casually, even compostable bags need to be degraded in specific environments. 

Do Compostable Bags Break Down In The Ocean?cid=5

Mineralized inorganic salts and new biomass that can be converted into carbon dioxide, water, and their contained elements within a certain period of time, and the resulting compost should comply with relevant standards in terms of heavy metal content, toxicity testing, residual fragments, etc. Compostable plastics can be further divided into industrial compost and household compost.

Composting treatment can accelerate the decomposition of plastics.

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