Assessing the effect of biodegradable and degradable plastics on the composting of green wastes and compost quality

G Unmar, R Mohee
Bioresource Technology 2008, 99 (15): 6738-44
An assessment of the effect of the composting potential of Mater-Bi biodegradable plastic with green wastes, noted by GBIO, and degradable plastic (PDQ-H additive) with green wastes, noted by GDEG, was carried out in a lagged two-compartment compost reactor. The composting time was determined until constant mass of the composting substrates was reached. The green wastes composting process was used as control (G). After one week of composting, the biodegradable plastics disappeared completely, while 2% of the original degradable plastic still remained after about 8 weeks of composting. A net reduction in volatile solids contents of 61.8%, 56.5% and 53.2% were obtained for G, GBIO and GDEG, respectively. Compost quality was assessed in terms of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus contents, which were found to be highest for GBIO compost. From the phytotoxicity test, it has been observed that a diluted extract of GBIO compost has produced the longest length of radicle. From the respiration test, no significant difference in the amount of carbon dioxide released by the composting of GDEG and G was observed. This study showed that the quality of the compost is not affected by the presence of the biodegradable and degradable plastics in the raw materials.

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