Biodegradable Plastic Won’t Help Ocean Pollution

Thanks; Sarah T 

Published ;May 25, 2016 01:17 AM EDT

Even the biodegradable plastics are not the best solutions for plastic litters in the ocean. 

(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Biodegradable plastic does not mean a perfect solution to ocean waste problems, according to an environmental scientist.

A United Nations environmental scientist warned the public that biodegradable plastics, shopping bags, and bottles are a false solution to the current problem of litter in the ocean.

According to a UN report published on Monday, plastics are extremely durable, and the series of throwing plastics in any bodies of water like a river and canal, will lead into large plastic debris and spreading of “microplastics” via currents of ocean from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

Greener plastics were introduced to the public as a sustainable alternative that could reduce a huge amount of plastic litter that usually ends up to the sea after being dumped. However, Jacqueline McGlade, chief scientist at the UN Environment Program said this alternative is not the solution to reduce plastic waste problems.

“It’s well-intentioned but wrong. A lot of plastics labelled biodegradable, like shopping bags, will only break down in temperatures of 50C and that is not the ocean. They are also not buoyant, so they’re going to sink, so they’re not going to be exposed to UV and break down,” McGlade told The Guardian.

Meanwhile, UN Environment assembly has been officially open in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday, Aljazeera reports. Expected attendees are environment ministers and representatives from 173 countries, campaigners, scientists, and industry executives.

“We are holding this assembly against a backdrop of great strides in greening our economies. A global conversation will take place this week to discuss policies and practices that advance environmental sustainability,” Steiner said in a report by English CRI.

The aim of this gathering is to tackle the major issue about the environment including air pollution and illegal trading of wildlife, and talk about immediate action to improve human being environment and human health.

UNEA-2 session will continue through May 27.