Consumer Awareness

Marine-Biodegradable Plastics, Pure and Simple

Marine-biodegradable plastics offer the ability to protect our precious aquatic resources from industrial harm. Pollution of marine environments by traditional plastics is a global problem, and its direct effect on marine life, birds, and mammals is a threat to our natural world.

Most plastics will not biodegrade in hundreds of years, and the Pacific Ocean even has a mass of non-degradable plastics trapped within the currents of the North Pacific Gyre that is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Some of this plastic breaks down into smaller plastic particles that fish and other marine life feed on. These plastic particles stay in their systems, and the fish are eventually consumed by humans. Clearly, there is a global need for marine-biodegradable plastics.

Mirel bioplastics can be a solution. Mirel resins will biodegrade in marine environments and can be used for marine-biodegradable plastics because they meet the ASTM D7081 standard for marine-biodegradable

non-floating plastics. Mirel is biodegradable in natural soil and water environments, home composting systems, and industrial composting facilities, where these facilities are available. However, like nearly all other bioplastics and organic matter, Mirel is not designed to biodegrade in landfills. The rate and extent of Mirel’s biodegradability will depend on the size and shape of the articles made from it.

Along with consumer education, bioplastics that provide marine biodegradability may help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in our marine environments.