Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Biodegradable mailers

With only a few weeks to go to print, ecoescape has been trawling stationery suppliers across the land for environmentally friendly envelopes in which to distribute the guides. We think we've found the answer - our guides will be packed up and sent off in their very own Eco-Poly Jacket.

How does this work? Aren't plastics meant to take 100s if not 1000s of years to degrade?

The clever part is that this new type of polythene has developed a way to reduce the molecular weight without impairing quality. Due to the reduction, these biodegradable mailers can be consumed by micro organisms found everywhere.

In time, the film will begin to degrade in any normal environment, a process enhanced by daylight or higher temperatures. It does not need a microbial agent to initiate degradation and, in fact, degrades more readily than paper. The eventual products of degradation are water, a small amount of carbon dioxide and biomass which can be composted and used as a fertilizer.

Here is a diagram of the process taken from the website

The good news is that the earthworms have given their seal of approval and if it's good enough for them...

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