HOW DO DEGRADABLE/BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC MATERIALS DECOMPOSE IN HOME COMPOSTING ENVIRONMENT?
Dana Adamcová 1  
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Department of Applied and Landscape Ecology, Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
Publish date: 2014-10-07
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2014; 15(4):82–89
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ABSTRACT
This paper provides information about biodegradability of polymeric (biodegradable/degradable) materials advertised as 100%-degradable or certified as compostable, which may be a part of biodegradable waste, in home composting conditions. It describes an experiment that took place in home wooden compost bins and contained 9 samples that are commonly available in retail chains in the Czech Republic and Poland. The experiment lasted for the period of 12 weeks. Based on the results thereof it can be concluded that polyethylene samples with additive (samples 2, 4, 7) have not decomposed, their color has not changed and that no degradation or physical changes have occurred. Samples 1, 3 and 5 certified as compostable have not decomposed. Sample 6 exhibited the highest decomposition rate. Samples 8, 9 (tableware) exhibited high degree of decomposition. The main conclusion from this study is that degradable/biodegradable plastics or plastics certified as compostable are not suitable for home composting.