Biodegradable products are actually not environment friendly!
Washington: Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered that biodegradable products are causing more harm than good in landfills, as they release a powerful greenhouse gas on breaking down.
“Biodegradable materials, such as disposable cups and utensils, are broken down in landfills by micro organisms that then produce methane,” said Dr. Morton Barlaz, professor and head of NC State’s Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.
“Methane can be a valuable energy source when captured, but is a potent greenhouse gas when released into the atmosphere,” he added.
According to the estimates of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only about 35 pc of municipal solid waste goes to landfills that capture methane for energy use.
Another 34 pc of landfills capture methane and burn it off on-site, while 31 pc allow the methane to escape.
“In other words, biodegradable products are not necessarily more environmentally friendly when disposed in landfills,” explained Barlaz.