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Friday, June 14, 2024
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EditorialsUp Front 08/06

Up Front 08/06

I don’t subscribe to the theory that technological and scientific advancement is the only way to ensure the survival of our world. Perhaps naïvely, I believe we need to work with our natural environment as well. However there are occasional developments that are a clear step forward. A Norwegian company is now marketing an additive product that can be used in the production of articles like plastic bags, to allow them to decompose naturally. The additive makes plastic decompose in a short time when exposed to light and humidity, and whilst at the same time making the plastic considerably stronger, it is also cheaper to produce. An ordinary polyethylene bag would take more than a year before it began to decompose but the new plastic bags will break down quicker than an apple on the ground. After two weeks in sunlight, the bags will still have 90 percent of their strength, but after five weeks only traces will remain. In addition to conventional shopping bags, plastic for silo bales in agriculture is another use. The company has reached an agreement with the German Farmers’ Co-operative to produce an agricultural film foil for the fields around Berlin. The film will keep the soil warm in spring and protect against frosty nights. It will start to decompose after four to six weeks. If the same additive could be used in things like toys or clothes this could change the whole meaning of disposable society. Mind you if we don’t take careful note of the ‘use-by’ date we could go out dressed for a casual walk and end up rushing home naked!

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