'Biodegradable' plastic bags are not breaking down

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Researchers from the University of Plymouth found that some biodegradable bags do not break down even after three years of natural exposure.

According to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, scientists compared five different types of bags: two kinds of oxo-biodegradable bags, a biodegradable bag, a compostable bag, and a normal plastic bag.

The team exposed the bags to air, water, and soil for extended periods of time to test their rate of degradation.

Results showed that after three years of exposure to soil, the biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable and normal plastic bags could still be used to carry things without breaking apart.

The compostable bag broke down completely in water within three months but was still present in soil after 27 months of exposure.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Types of bags tested in the study
2. All bags are exposed to air, wind, and soil
3. Exposure does not affect Biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable and normal plastic bags
4. Compostable bag breaks down in water but is still present in soil

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Researchers from the University of Plymouth found that some biodegradable bags do not break down even after three years of natural exposure."

"According to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, they compared five different types of bags: two kinds of oxo-biodegradable bags, a biodegradable bag, a compostable bag, and a normal plastic bag."

"The team exposed the bags to air, wind, and soil for extended periods of time to test their rate of degradation."

"Results showed that after three years of exposure to soil, the biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable and normal plastic bags could still be used to carry things without breaking apart."

"The compostable bag broke down completely in water within three months but was still present in soil after 27 months of exposure."

SOURCES:
EurekAlert, Environmental Science and Technology
https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/uop-bbc042519.php
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.8b06984