The Future Of... Composting
Posting in Food
Take a closer look at your trash before you toss it. Can it go in your compost pile? It's not just for food and yard trimmings any more. One day, ...
Take a closer look at your trash before you toss it. Can it go in your compost pile? It's not just for food and yard trimmings any more. One day, you may be able to throw most of your car parts in a compost bin. SmartPlanet correspondent Sumi Das explains.
Sep 6, 2011
The video stated that the PLA-based plastics being used to make compostable bags, utensils, etc is derived from "plants." All well and good, but the only plant product used at the moment is corn grain. This is not sustainable, given the energy and dollar subsidies that go into growing corn for grain in the U.S. Please dig a little deeper.
Biodegradable products definitely have a role, however just composting isn't going to come anywhere near making our species sustainable. Not discussing how the composting process is affected by peak phosphate is mis-leading at best and negligent at worst. Unless we discover a way to recover phosphorus from the environment without mining it in the next 30-50 years - including from compost, 80% of the world population will be threatened by starvation. Human food production under the "green revolution that feeds us is 95% NPK fertilizer dependent. While the nitrogen comes through natural gas processes, the phosphate in this equation is mined in a few very limited areas of the world. In 2008 scientific consensus was that there were 300 years of phosphate reserves remaining. In 2011 scientist are now estimating peak phosphate is less than 30 years away and effective phosphate depletion could happen in as little as 50 years given 3-5 billion additional humans being born in the mean time. Considering that peak petro and peak phosphate affects will overlap, scientist are also now starting to wonder if their estimates of phosphate depletion are actually far too liberal. Rising peak oil fuel prices will result in the earlier economic infeasibility of phosphate mining than when only examining phosphate depletion factors alone. Our species is facing some serious short term crises that are being ignored by our leadership and by our uninformed population. This is a scenario for human disaster - if not extinction on a scale we unfortunately tend to think of as... mythical.