American Trade Products’ (ATP) new Earth Plastic is recyclable, biodegradable, and made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.

At the moment, it looks like they’re focusing on painting supplies, like paint tray liners and buckets, but they’re planning expand into home storage and pet supply products. I have to admit, their claims make this stuff sound almost too good to be true. ATP has been using rPET, or recycled plastic bottles, in their products since they launched in 1990 and say that they’ve diverted over 60 million plastic bottles per year from landfills. It almost sounds too good to be true! Is it?

This new product is supposed to break down in landfill conditions in two to five years and can be continually recycled. According to the company’s website, Earth Plastic:

…contains a proprietary blend of additives that enables products to break down into a harmless, soil-like material.

I’m a little skeptical about what the soil-like material could be, and the information I was able to dig up on it was sort of vague. I’m also a little concerned about this part of ATP’s mission statement: “Our products are inexpensive versions of permanent fixtures, which help simplify our customers’ lives.”

By “inexpensive versions” I sort of get the impression that they mean “disposable versions,” based on the first few products they’ve released. While I think this certainly beats conventional plastics, I’m not sure this disposable mindset is a very sustainable one. I’d love to know if this technology could be used in fields like medicine, where plastic plays a pretty critical role.

Whether this is a game-changing product or not, it definitely speaks to a change in consumers’ attitudes about plastic. If there weren’t a market for products like these, companies wouldn’t spend the time and resources to develop them. From the American Chemistry Council’s initiative to produce bags with 40% recycled content by 2015 to more and more cities banning plastic bags all together, it feels like folks are more mindful of the plastic in their lives. It might just be a tiny step in the right direction, but the first step to kicking a habit is admitting you have a problem, right?

So, what do you guys think about Earth Plastic?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by thepotato