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Degradable rubbish bags

The context

Did you know that your family probably throws away over a tonne of waste each year, much of which is plastic? Like most people, you probably sling your plastic rubbish into a plastic bin-liner, transfer it into a plastic refuse sack, tie it up for the council to take away and forget about it.

The traditional 'solution' has been to bury these sacks full of waste in landfill sites. But the trouble is that traditional plastic bin-liners and refuse sacks are not totally degradable - in fact, they can actually stop the rubbish inside from decomposing. As a result, some of the plastic waste resurfaces as an environmental hazard, either through littering the countryside, or being eaten by animals which could cause illness or even death. And even when the plastic does break down, it can contribute to the production of gases

British company Symphony Environmental Ltd decided to try to solve this problem. It wanted to create a plastic material that:


European Union Legislation



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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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