Biodegradable disposables can harm environment too: Experts

Singapore has a plastic problem, having only recycled 4 per cent of its plastic waste last year. And the war on plastic is in full swing, with "green" alternatives such as metal straws, biodegradable plastic cups and reusable tote bags being given out or sold at various events and outlets. But are these alternatives really eco-friendly? And what else can consumers do to save the planet? Timothy Goh finds out.

Single-use plastics, bottles, fishing equipment and packaging materials are said to be the biggest culprits when it comes to environmental impact. PHOTO: ST FILE
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One popular "green" alternative to these has been disposables made of biodegradable materials.

But Professor Hu Xiao of the Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) School of Materials Science and Engineering pointed out that these may not be so good for the environment either.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2019, with the headline Biodegradable disposables can harm environment too: Experts. Subscribe