Biodegradable Polymers in the Environment: Are They Really Biodegradable?

  • Graham Swift

Abstract

Biodegradable polymers in the environment represent a cause for concern, depending how one defines and establishes the degree of biodegradation. In this paper, I will define biodegradable polymers, explain why they are used, how the degree of biodegradability is estimated and what the environmental implications are for incomplete biodegradation. Tests available are not yet totally satisfactory and further development needs are indicated. Some possible approaches are raised.

Keywords

Sewage Sludge Biodegradable Polymer Pull Ulan Biodegradable Plastic Hydroxyethyl Cellulose 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. 1.
    A. M. Thayer, Chem. Eng. News, Jan. 30, 1989.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. D. Swisher, “Surfactant Biodegradation, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, Basel, 1987.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    OECD, “Guidelines for Testing Materials, Section Degradation and Accumulation” 1981, #301A-E, 302A, B, C, 303A, 304A.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    ASTM Standards D5909, D5910.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    N. Scholz, Tenside Surfact. Det., 18, 277–281 (1991).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham Swift
    • 1
  1. 1.Rohm and Haas CompanySpring HouseUSA

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