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Keywords:

  • Biodegradable materials;
  • Compost quality;
  • Ecotoxicity

Abstract

The potential global and regional as well as the local environmental effects of the biological treatment of biodegradable polymeric materials are described in this paper. The global effects could be summarised as a decreasing contribution of methane release into the atmosphere by controlled biological treatment of waste and in a reduction of pollution from litter. The regional effects are essentially a reduced need of landfill space and production and use of compost for soil improvement in agriculture. The local effects are characterised by accumulated contamination with residues and chemical reactions of biodegradation products, which could serve as fertiliser or cause an inhibition of plant growth. Global and regional effects have more often a positive sign in the sense of sustainability and ecology, whereas the local effects could include disturbances of balanced ecosystems.