We all need to be “green” yet we voice skepticism on what we don’t understand.
Unfortunately, the nature of a human being is to question or to doubt. That is a good thing, to be cautious, to be curious or to require an explanation.   A product is labeled degradeable/biodegradeable, because it is.  They achieve this by putting TDPA additives into the plastic (Totally Degradable Plastic Additives).
Let me give a very basic explanation of degradeability and biodegradability. These are two separate processes that occur while turning a TDPA treated plastic into a bio-mass. After a plastic is discarded, TDPA’s are activated by oxygen and UV rays to break down into smaller molecules that can be wettable.  This degradation process will begin in 1.5 to 2 years after a plastic is discarded.  When the molecules are small enough biodegradation begins and tiny micro-organisms consume the smaller plastic fragments until the process is complete, leaving a harmless goo.  Even buried in a landfill the TDPA plastic gets the combination of heat, moisture or oxygen necessary to complete biodegradation.
I personally have attended more than one product presentation where the rep touted the “green” aspect of their product but didn’t “believe” it.  How did I know this?  Because they said so or made a suggestive facial gesture (hard to catch those facial gestures for posterity on an audio recording!)
After I left the meeting I was confused and curious.  Why did I just leave this education feeling like somebody is not telling the truth?  Why would the company put that “green” statement on their product if it wasn’t?  Where did that person’s negativity come from?
Well, I let these thoughts float in and out of my mind for the past couple of years now.  Every now and then I’d see a commercial, run across another advertisement or product that caused my doubts and curiosity to resurface.  Then I got a phone call and the conversation centered around concerns, doubts and skepticism about a particular product and this very subject.  I did not have the answers so I decided to get some.
I called suppliers and spoke to their internal representatives about their “green” statements and I was both enlightened and reassured.  There were studies done and reports written on results by qualified individuals (like engineers and scientists).  I figured this was the case and it was good to hear that it was.

Where has the skepticism come from?  From people not believing a TDPA plastic will complete the process in a landfill. However, it will and it does because it still has the ingredients it needs to get the job done.  Lastly, lets make a comparison: traditional plastic item in landfill takes 250-300 years.  A TDPA plastic item in a landfill takes maybe 5 years? Hmmmmmmm….a TPDA plastic disappears harmlessly over 50 times faster than a traditional plastic.  I bet anyone that understands this will find lots of inspiration to be a “green” advocate.

Word to all the product salespeople out there…understand what you are representing, then shout its praises.  We all know it costs a couple of cents more but don’t let your customer focus on just the price, our world needs your help to get this “green” thing going!