Biodegradable Plastics and Top Gear

Biodegradable plastics worsen global warming

A paper titled “Is Biodegradability a Desirable Attribute for Discarded Solid Waste?” was published by researchers at North Carolina State University at the end of May. The paper examined how different materials degrade and what emissions are produced as they break down and focused on specially manufactured materials such as biodegradable plastics. In a well ventilated composting environment they tend to break down into carbon dioxide and water but in large landfill sites most waste degrades anaerobically and produces methane. This caused a minor media storm with incredible headlines such as “Biodegradable plastics worsen global warming”.

This article gives a good summary of the paper and explains why the papers conclusions could have been misinterpreted so easily:

The original paper can be found here: (pdf)

Top Gear in trouble

Did anyone watch the Top Gear last weekend where they drove the Nissan Leaf and Peugeot iOn? I personally enjoyed watching the electrics getting some air time. The production team cut the program in such as way as to portray the cars as useless (to be expected from a motoring program.) It seems that sort of behaviour is not going to wash anymore, and apparently the program is already being sued for an earlier program!

Full episode on iplayer here: (from 19:50)

Not strictly energy related:

Did you hear about the Swedish bloke arrested for trying to make a nuclear reactor in his kitchen? Laugh or despair, take a few minutes out to listen to the interview.

The interview with Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4’s PM (from 23:15) is a bit more dry and condescending:

Until next week,

imeasure team
Energy Management
For Home –

Find imeasure on twitter: imeasureou

For Work –

Find SMEasure on twitter: smeasure_carbon

To read and discuss home energy use:


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