The concept of all biologically degradable bags put into circulation in Hungary is based on trickery. These bags besides the regular plastic material contain catalysts due to which plastic chains fall apart a lot more rapidly, but there is not any organic degradation caused by microorganisms, states Sylvia Graczka, the communication manager of Humusz organization (Humusz Szövetség).
Ms. Graczka emphasizes that there are bags made of natural components like that of potato or maize starch, which theoretically can totally disintegrate. However, 99.9% of so-called organic bags available in Hungary are not like the above mentioned. According to her the latter mentioned bags all have the eco-friendly trademark printed on them, but they often contain such catalysts that include heavy metals, which accelerate the splitting of plastic chains, and thereby the decomposing of such a bag.
We speak of the same sort of bags, says the communication manager of Humusz, but they contain extra ingredients, too. These ingredients apart from the fact that they are harmful to health also negatively affect selective waste management. Recyclers complain that they cannot handle these bags the same way they manage ordinary nylon bags. (One can throw away such bags in a container together with the PET flasks at a selective refuse dump.)
As she pointed out they have had a home-experiment to see whether the biodegradable bags, supposedly ought to disintegrate in 90 days, indeed fall apart or not. Ms Graczka underlined that bags do not degrade at all, and even if after some time they fall apart, the remnants of these bags will be nothing else but plastic fallen into little pieces.
The motive of supermarkets behind the whole thing using so-called organic or biodegradable bags is a simple technique concerning taxation. Since the law regarding product taxation disposes that if one fourth of the bags are biodegradable bags, then the enterprise does not have to pay a product fee for the remaining three-quarters of bags either.
The viewpoint of Humusz is that there is no need for plastic bags at all whether they are degradable, or non-degradable ones. We suggest people to use bags made of cloth and similar, durable carrier and shopping bags. At the time when the government of Ireland introduced bag taxation, the use of plastic bags dropped by 94 percent. This clearly indicates that there is no need for them, claimed Sylvia Graczka.