According to media reports, Mitsubishi Chemical and a packaging material manufacturer have jointly developed a plastic bag that can be degraded in seawater, which will contribute to the reduction of marine plastic waste.
According to the report, the shopping bag is made of sugarcane and other plant ingredients, and the principle of microbial degradation of garbage in soil is applied, mainly by microorganisms. Even if the amount of microorganisms in seawater is less than that in soil, the shopping bags are easy to degrade in seawater.
This kind of shopping bag can be completely decomposed in about a year, while the natural decomposition of ordinary plastic bag usually takes 20 to 1000 years. An executive at Mitsubishi Chemical said the company hopes to help solve the problem of marine plastic waste by promoting the use of the bags.
Earlier this month, the Japanese government began to require all retailers to charge consumers for plastic shopping bags in an effort to stop consumers from overusing plastic bags. More than six times the cost of this kind of plastic bag will be required due to the advanced technology.
According to relevant reports, a new study shows that if no immediate and sustained action is taken, the amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean every year will more than triple, reaching 600 million tons by 2040.
However, the study also points out that if measures can be developed to utilize existing technical solutions, plastic pollution can be reduced by 80% by 2040