Biopolymers May Lead to Zero-Waste Communities

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The introduction of biopolymers, combined with a growing infrastructure for composting them, may reduce the estimated 94% of all plastic consumer products that currently end up in local disposal facilities in the U.S. NatureWorks PLA, the first commercially available polymer made from field corn, is being used in a range of consumer packaging applications. It carries the “compostable” logo certifying it will biodegrade and compost satisfactorily in active commercially managed compost facilities, which are being introduced throughout the U.S.

Because new plastics entering the waste stream have the potential to impact existing recycling programs, NatureWorks LLC has worked with Future 500, a non-profit research and technical assistance organization, to engage practitioners in developing short-term and long-term solutions to handling the PLA material. Programs to understand the practical dynamics of market introduction are underway with two prominent recycling programs to demonstrate how this new product can be managed locally, kept out of the waste stream, and introduced without contaminating the recycling stream. This includes working with the City of San Francisco’s recycling program and Eco-Cycle, Inc., a mission-based grassroots recycling program that serves Boulder, Colo.

For more information, see future500.org.



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