Study shows greater toxicity in compostable bags than conventional plastic

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A study, led by researchers from the Higher Scientific Research Council (CSIC), shows a high level of toxicity in compostable plastic bags, which increases with photodegradationthat is, when ultraviolet rays hit them.

This preliminary study has analyzed the toxicity of compostable plastic bags, conventional plastic bags and other recycled plastic bags in zebrafish cells, reports the CSIC.

For the research, led by scientists from the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC), the Institute of Environmental Diagnostics and Water Studies (IDAEA-CSIC) of Barcelona and the Susplast platform, and published in the journal Journal of Hazardous Materialsan extraction of the bags was carried out to analyze toxic compounds that could be released into the environment.

During the study, the toxicity of these compounds was evaluated with zebrafish cell lines in three different situations: directly, from the bags samples; after a simulation of aging of the bags with ultraviolet rays (photodegradation); and through the small fragments of the bags that remained after being converted into quality fertilizer or compost.

Finally, the fertilizer resulting from the composting process of the bags was analyzed.

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