How This Determined Female Founder Is Taking on Big Plastic
While companies have touted the recyclability of their plastic products for years, plastic remains an environmental hazard. Less than 5 percent of flexible plastic packaging recycled by consumers ends up recycled in the world’s most advanced recycling markets, while only 2 percent is recycled globally, according to the Flexible Packaging Association. And of the 7 billion tons of plastic waste globally, less than 10 percent has ever been recycled, according to the U.N. Environmental Program.
After learning the truth about plastics–most of which end up in landfills, waterways, or the ocean and do not break down for hundreds of years–Nissenbaum began researching compostable alternatives and found that some compostable bio-materials had been on the market for decades, particularly polylactic acid, or PLA. Usually made from corn, PLA is often used for utensils, straws, and various forms of rigid packaging. It’s compostable, but only under industrial-compost conditions.
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