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Old September 29th, 2010, 23:05   #1
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Looking for information on biodegradable BBs

First off, I'm not an airsoft player. I don't know my way around the activity and I haven't tried it before.

My questions:
What kind of plastic are biodegradable (not photodegradable) BBs made of?
How much time do they take to degrade?


And a little backstory as to why I'm asking:

As some of you may know, paintball shells are made with gelatin. They degrade pretty quick; in my experience any unopened paint, depending on the humidity it is exposed to, will no longer be fresh after a month or two and go out of round. Gelatin soaks up water so fast that even a drop will make a paintball unusable. In other words, paintballs have a short shelf life and are very sensitive to weather and climate.

Paintball fields can only afford to sell paint for cheap if they sell a lot of it. If a small field owner who doesn't sell a lot of paint buys in bulk for a cheaper price per case, he risks having a lot of product go bad but being forced to sell it anyways. Nobody likes bad paint.

A week or two ago, a new company started to promote a paintball with a two year shelf life that's immune to water. They say the shell is made from corn based plastic, which they claim to be biodegradable. I think it's PLA but I'm not sure. If their claims are true, a small field will have no problem buying a lot of this paint at once and selling it off over a comparatively long time.

There has been a lot of speculation on these so far, and I had a though; what if this is the same plastic used to make biodegradable airsoft pellets?

Cheers.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 00:14   #2
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There's a lot of different materials used to make Bio BB's. PLA is but one and usually used in the better & best quality makes. Others break down by moisture exposure and others still by UV exposure.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 00:28   #3
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Thanks. Do you know how long you can expect a PLA pellet to stick around for? What about other materials?
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Old September 30th, 2010, 00:41   #4
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Biodegradable BB Bastards are made out of corn (PLA) and off this side of the Earth in 90 days.

Silica BBs are inert and bio-neutral (glass, basically).

More info in this thread : http://www.airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=97609
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Old September 30th, 2010, 00:58   #5
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Thank you for the link.

I have a feeling these shells will degrade in less than 90 days, thanks to the bacteria having a lot more surface area to work on. My guess is there would be a similar volume of plastic in one of these paintballs to a BB.

This sentence "One big difference with ECOBBs, is unlike past PLA formulas, ECOBBs are not particularly light sensitive and light does not trigger the decomposition process" seems to suggest PLA is photodegradable as well. Is this true?
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Old September 30th, 2010, 01:19   #6
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http://www.bbbastard.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=5

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Old September 30th, 2010, 01:31   #7
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That's the same info on PLA BBs provided in the previous link, but thanks anyways.
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