The more people become environmentally conscious, the safer our environment becomes. Companies are now creatively making all their products biodegradable to reduce pollution and havoc caused on our environment due to the disposal methods.
Governments of different companies globally are now enforcing laws that make manufacturers display all the materials their products are made from. This is to make every consumer aware of the products they want to purchase and what it is made of.
Plants produce resins. The resins act as a form of defense and protection against insects and pathogens. Resin is a mixture of organic compounds because it is organic (it is gotten naturally from plants). When harvested by man, it is a solid or highly viscous substance that can be easily converted into polymers.
Resin forms one of the primary materials used to produce many items that we find useful at home. With the abundance of resin around us, is it safe to say resins are biodegradable? We will answer this important question in this blog post.
And there are other similar essential questions we will provide answers to. Please take a seat, and let us have fun learning how to protect our environment.
Does Resin Biodegrade?
There are different types of resins. These resins are not produced from the same materials. Some of them are made from natural materials, while others are manufactured from synthetic fibers.
Resin is only biodegradable if it is produced from organic materials. Resins like eco-resin, silicone resin, and epoxy resin are biodegradable. And resins like polyester/fiberglass resin, polyurethane resin, and thermoset resins are not biodegradable.
Epoxy resin, the most popular choice of resin, is biodegradable. After a test was conducted, it was discovered that two bacteria are the cause for the biodegradation of epoxy resin. Rhodococcus rhodochrous and Ochrobactrum anthropic are the two bacteria responsible for the breakdown of epoxy resin.
Thermoset resins, on the other hand, are not biodegradable, neither can they be recycled. They can only be burned up under strict precautions and measures because of the release of toxic substances. Using and disposing of thermoset resins has resulted in pollution of the environment.
All synthetic resins, like thermoset resins and polyester resins, are produced from fossil sources. They are neither biodegradable nor recyclable. However, scientists have discovered a new way of producing thermoset resin from renewable materials that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and non-hazardous.
Green technology is one of the fastest-growing industries globally, and the commitment to discovering eco-friendly methods and materials to produce renewable and fully biodegradable products to replace plastic waste and pollution.
Biodegradable resins are produced from natural, water-based, non-toxic materials. They are usually manufactured using starch-based thermoplastics and organic sugar or oils.
How Long Does It Take For Resin to Decompose?
To make our environment a safe habitat for us, we have to be very careful with the kind of products we use and dispose of. Our ignorance, negligence, and carelessness have made our environment almost uninhabitable. Our activities have been a major reason for the decline in the wildlife population.
For us to protect our environment, we have to embrace the use of biodegradable and compostable products. These products are organic, so they do not harm the environment. Rather, they nourish it.
Resin is compostable. However, only eco-resin and silicone resin are made from purely organic materials. So, they are the only compostable resins. The decomposition rate of resin increases rapidly at the reaction temperature, and reaction time is increased.
Some sources claim it takes between 5 to 7 days for compostable resins to decompose. However, certain conditions must be in place for the resin to decompose within the period stated.
Is Resin Better Than Plastic For the Environment?
Resin has been in use for a very long time. It has been used in a wide range of applications. Different industries use resin, and you can even use resin to create some DIY projects in your home. But is resin better than plastic? Does it have less impact on the environment than plastic?
The major difference between plastic and resin is that resins are produced from organic materials. They are produced directly from plants, while plastics are produced from synthetic materials. Resins are amorphous compounds that can either be solid or semi-solid, but plastic is a form of synthetic resin.
Eco-friendly resins like eco-resin, silicone resin, and epoxy resin are mainly natural, so they do not threaten the environment. Plastic, on the other hand, degrades slowly, thereby causing environmental pollution.
Resins are environmentally friendly when they are dried and cured, but plastic, on the other hand, is not environmentally friendly. After sanding to make resins cured, they do not pose any threat to the environment. Plastics being manufactured from synthetic fibers contain few organic materials. So plastic is more dangerous to the environment than resin.
Resin is recyclable because it is manufactured from organic materials and is biodegradable. It can be broken down into smaller pieces. Plastic is very difficult to recycle because the process of recycling often involves burning. When plastic is burned, it releases harmful gases like furans, dioxins, mercury, and toxins. These are all dangerous to both humans, wildlife, and the environment.
When plastic is disposed of in the landfills and finds its way into the oceans, it poses a big threat to aquatic animals. Since plastic is not organic, it is dangerous to aquatic animals when consumed. But, biodegradable resins can be broken down by bacteria and micro-organisms, posing no threat to aquatic animals.
Although, plastics are more durable than resins. Plastics also contain lesser impurities than resins and are more stable. So, by comparison, we can see that resin is better than plastic for the environment.
The safety and protection of our environment are of greater importance than our immediate wants. To reduce our impact on the environment, we must embrace better habits and use more biodegradable and compostable materials.
Is There Biodegradable Resin?
The problem of plastic waste is one of the leading causes of environmental pollution. One way we can maintain the path to sustainable plastic production is by encouraging the production of biodegradable resins. And biodegradable products are one effective way to reduce waste and pollution.
Of course, there are biodegradable resins available. They are one of the best products out there. We would look at a few of the biodegradable resins.
Terratek BD 4015
These biodegradable resins are manufactured from a blend of starch-based ingredients and other materials. This type of biodegradable resin is ideal for producing disposable packaging containers and materials. It is a cost-effective alternative for manufacturing bio-based, heat-tolerant compostable products.
Polylactic Acid (PLA)
This is another type of biodegradable resins. They are produced from cassava, tapioca, cornstarch, or sugarcane. Polylactic acid is used to produce different varieties of products, ranging from medical implants to consumer products, like food packaging, cups, loose-fill packaging, and disposable tableware.
Polybutylene Succinate (PBS)
Polybutylene Succinate is a biodegradable resin. It is an aliphatic polyester and has similar properties to polypropylene. However, when in contact with water and carbon dioxide, it degrades. Polybutylene Succinate is produced from succinic acid, a chemical that is found in almost all living organisms. PBS is often used in the packaging of cosmetics and food, drug encapsulation, and medical implants.
Polycaprolactone is produced from vegetable oil and is often mixed with starch-based plastics to alter a material’s tensile properties and minimize costs. It is used to produce polyurethanes, which are used to improve the impact resistance to water, chemicals, oils, and solvents. It also has medical uses, including scaffolding to help tissue repair, sutures or adhesion barriers, and drug delivery services.
The process of manufacturing biodegradable resins is dependent on the raw materials available. Environmentally friendly products usually have complex production processes. This is the reason the production of biodegradable products costs a lot.
During the production of biodegradable resins, no catalysts or harmful chemicals are added to ensure both the process and final products are environmentally friendly. Many of these processes do not produce any form of odor. Awful odors signify the use of harmful chemicals and additives.
It has been suggested that the manufacturing of biodegradable resins has a positive effect on our carbon footprint. Studies and tests have proved that the production of biodegradable resins has helped neutralize the emissions of carbon dioxide. This means that biodegradable resins are not only good for humans, but their production process is also beneficial to the environment.
Is Resin Poisonous?
There is a significant amount of resins available. It can be difficult to identify the ones that are poisonous from the harmless ones. Nevertheless, we will show you how to differentiate the poisonous resins from the safe and harmless ones.
Resins are generally regarded as non-poisonous products. However, if proper care is not taken, there could be severe health issues when working with resins. So, it is important to follow all health precautions and specified instructions.
Partially cured resins are dangerous to humans. It can be poisonous if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed into the body. It is even worse when foreign materials have been added to the resin. The toxicity increases.
There are different health hazards caused by exposure to partially cured resins. We will look at some of the health hazards.
Eyes, Nose, And Throat Irritation
Partially cured resins and the vapor it produces during sanding can result in eyes, nose, and throat irritation. You might be wondering how resin can cause throat irritation. Of course, no one would be careless enough to ingest resins, but using containers used for resins for food is the most common way resin is ingested.
Don’t try to say I will wash it clean; there are still some resin particles that would not wash off. Severe headache is always the result of eyes, nose, and throat irritation.
Epichlorohydrin present in resin has been tested to be a cause of skin cancer in laboratory animals. Although it has not been proven yet, it could also cause cancer in humans. Glycidyl ether that is present in newer types of resin causes genetic mutations in animals.
We would also look at the types of resins that can be poisonous when not handled properly.
Fiberglass resin is the cheapest resin in production. It is also the most toxic. Inhaling the fumes from partially cured fiberglass resin can result in severe respiratory issues and irritate the skin and eyes. And if mistakenly disposed of in a body of water, the chemicals can pollute the water and affect all aquatic organisms.
Epoxy resin is the most popular resin. It is the preferred choice of resin, among others. Inhaling the vapors of epoxy resin, especially during sanding, can result in asthma and other respiratory problems.
Eco-resin and silicone resin are the most non-toxic, safe, and non-poisonous resins available.
Who would have thought that a product we find very useful for many things is seriously damaging our environment? This is the time for all hands to be on deck so we can save our planet.
We have to swiftly adjust to using biodegradable and compostable products rather than cheap and harmful products. If we intend to enjoy our stay on this earth, we must take proper care of it.