Bye-Bye, Landfills! Russian Scientists Create Biodegradable Polyethylene

Russian scientists have developed a pioneering technology that can create environmentally friendly packaging materials from biodegradable compositions based on polyethylene and various natural fillers. This is a chance to defeat one of the causes of environmental pollution in Russia. Usually, it takes up to 200 years for polyethylene bags to decay in nature. Most of the packages produced under the label “biodegradable” don’t decompose much faster. Every year Russia produces about 3.3 million tons of plastic waste that uses about 10 hectares of lands that could otherwise be used for agricultural purposes. Meanwhile, many regions have accumulated large amounts of potentially biodegradable waste from woodworking, agricultural, textile and food industries, which is so far not being used. Scientists from the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics came up with an idea to kill two birds with one stone. They created biodegradable compositions based on polyethylene which goes together with natural fillers: linen shoves, sunflower husks, wheat chaff, straw or sawdust.”