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Toolbox to evaluate the biodegradation of plastic materials in the open environment

11 Nov 2021
Eliminating Plastic Waste
Biodegradable plastic materials are increasingly being discussed as an alternative to conventional non-biodegradable plastic and as a mitigation strategy against plastic pollution, especially for items with an intentional input (e.g. seed coating), with a high potential of loss (e.g. mulch film) and where loss is intrinsic to use (e.g. abrasion of aquaculture nets, textiles, tiers). The question for society is how to deal with biodegradable plastic known to end up in the open environment. We present options for biodegradation testing schemes showing several scenarios. They are based on the delicate balance between high informative value and decreased costs.