Evaluation of discarded textile and paper waste for use in biodegradable seedling pots

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Labayen, Jeanger P. Juanga
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This study evaluates the efficacy of using textile waste (cotton or polycotton) blended with paper waste (newspaper and corrugated cardboard) to form biodegradable seedling pot. A sequential optimization process utilizing alkali treatment, compressive load, drying, and binding agent on the tensile strength of homogeneous sheets (cotton, polycotton, newspaper, and corrugated cardboard) were determined. Thereafter, a bio-composite blends of cotton and polycotton with paper waste was performed to determine an optimum blend of substrates with improved tensile and bending strength properties. A bio-composite blend of cotton (20% cotton, 40% newspaper, and 40% corrugated cardboard) and polycotton (20% polycotton, 40% newspaper, and 40% corrugated cardboard) with an optimum strength were formed into seedling pots. The appreciated seedling pots (untreated blends of cotton and polycotton) were compared with the commercial pots (cardboard seed starter pot and Jiffy pot) in terms of mechanical properties (tensile and compressive strengths), biodegradability (soil burial test and anaerobic digestion), and seed germination. The untreated blends of cotton and polycotton pots demonstrated a comparable optimum strength, while the Jiffy pot and cardboard seed starter pot obtained the least tensile and compressive strengths, respectively. The anaerobic biodegradability assay suggests that the cotton blend pot, polycotton blend pot, and cardboard seed starter pot can degrade anaerobically because of its high biogas and methane generation potential. Furthermore, the soil burial test relates with the anaerobic degradability assay. A 100% seed germination rate was observed from the four seedling pots tested. Thus, the results demonstrated the efficacy of utilizing textile waste to develop seedling pot with desirable strength and biodegradability compared to the tested commercial seedling pots.
Biodegradable, Seedling pot, Textile waste, Paper waste