Degradation of Oxo-Degradable-Polyethylene and Polylactic Acid Films Embodied in the Substrate of the Edible Fungus Pleurotus ostreatus


Degradable plastic mulch is being used to overcome the negative environmental impacts of burning and landfilling agricultural plastic waste. In this study P. ostreatus was used to model the capacity of a vegetal species to degrade conventional and degradable plastic films. Plastics studied were oxo-degradable polyethylene (OXO-PE), UV-irradiated oxo-degradable polyethylene (UV-OXO-PE), polylactic acid (PLA) and conventional polyethylene (C-PE). The cultivation of P. ostreatus resulted in a reduction in the median of weight (78.2% - 80.2%) and volume (56.1% - 60.1%) of the substrate (wheat straw). Degradation of the plastics embodied was evidenced by a reduction in the median of the elongation at break (OXO-PE 475% to 109%, UV-OXO-PE 23% to 8%, PLA 596% to 398% and C-PE 505% to 304%) and an increase in the median of the carbonyl index (OXO-PE 0.062 to 0.114, UV-OXO-PE 0.098 to 0.145 and PLA 0.024 to 0.034). The Kruskal-Wallis test found no statistical difference (p = 0.384) between the medians of the biological efficiency for substrates containing plastics and the substrate without plastic. In conclusion, plastics embodied in the substrates used for cultivation of P. ostreatus are degraded and the degradation of these plastics does not affect the short term growth of P. ostreatus.

Share and Cite:

Cruz-Navarro, D. , Espinosa-Valdemar, R. , Beltrán-Villavicencio, M. , Vázquez-Morillas, A. and Velasco-Pérez, M. (2014) Degradation of Oxo-Degradable-Polyethylene and Polylactic Acid Films Embodied in the Substrate of the Edible Fungus Pleurotus ostreatus. Natural Resources, 5, 949-957. doi: 10.4236/nr.2014.515081.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Association of Plastics Manufacturers, Plastics Europe (2013) Plastic—The Facts 2013. An Analysis of European Latest Plastics Production, Demand and Waste Data.
[2] Kasirajan, S. and Ngouajio, M. (2012) Polyethylene and Biodegradable Mulches for Agricultural Applications: A Review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 32, 501-529.
[3] National Ecology Institute, Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (2012) Basic Diagnosis of the Integrated Waste Management. Extended Version.
[4] Washington State University (2013) Using Biodegradable Plastics as Agricultural Mulches. Washington State University Extension Fact Sheet (FS103W).
[5] Johnson, G. (2012) Evaluation of Biodegradable Plastic Mulches for Watermelon Production in Delaware. University of Delaware, Delaware.
[6] Bastioli, C. (2001) Global Status of the Production of Biobased Packaging Materials. Starch/Starke, 53, 351-355.<351::AID-STAR351>3.0.CO;2-R
[7] Ojeda, T.F.M., Dalmolin, E., Forte, M.M.C., Jacques, R.J.S., Bento, F.M. and Camargo, F.A.O. (2009) Abiotic and Biotic Degradation of Oxo-Biodegradable Polyethylenes. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 94, 965-970.
[8] Chiellini, E., Corti, A., D’Antone, S. and Baciu, R. (2006) Oxo-Biodegradable Carbon Backbone Polymers—Oxidative Degradation of Polyethylene under Accelerated Test Conditions. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 91, 2739-2747.
[9] Martínez-Carrera, D., Leben, R., Morales, P., Sobal, M. and Larqué-Saavedra, A. (1991) History of the Commercial Cultures of Edible Mushrooms in Mexico. Science and Development, 96, 33-43.
[10] Cruz, A. (2013) Mexico Is the Leading Producer of Mushrooms in Latin America and It Has Still a Lot of Potential. The Chronic. Mexico City.
[11] Martínez-Carrera, D., Larqué, A., Aliphat, M., Aguilar, A., Bonilla, M. and Martínez, W. (2000) The Biotechnology of Edible Mushrooms for the Mexican Food Safety and Sovereignty. II National Forum of Food Safety and Sovereignty, Mexican Academy of Sciences-CONACYT, Mexico City, 193-207.
[12] Bautista, M., Alanís, M.G., González, E. and García, C.L. (1998) Chemical Composition of Three Different Mexican Oyster Mushrooms Strains (Pleurotus ostreatus). Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion, 48.
[13] Martínez-Carrera, D., Morales, P. and Sobal, M. (1990) Pleurotus ostreatus Cultures on Cane Bagasse Enriched with Coffee Pulp or Barley Straw. Micología Neotropical Aplicada, 3, 49-52.
[14] De León-Chocooj, R. (1990) Culture of the Edible Mushrooms from the Genus Pleurotus on Water Hyacinth and the Determination of the Heavy Metal on the Collected Samples [MsC]. UNAM, Mexico City.
[15] Mata, G. and Gaitán, H.R. (1995) Pleurotus Culture on Sugar Cane Leaves. Mexican Magazine of Mycology, 11, 1722.
[16] Bautista, J.M., Franco, B.L., Martínez, S.G., Gamino, S.Z. and Ocana, C.R. (1998) Nutritional Value of the Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) Grown on Avocado and Pineapple Wastes. University Act, 8.
[17] Pérez, R. and Mata, G. (2005) Culture and Selection of Pleurotus ostreatus and P. pulmonarius Strains on Pine Shavings: The Obtaining of New Strains and Their Production Evaluation. Mexican Magazine of Mycology, 20, 53-59.
[18] García, N., Bermúdez, R.C., Gross, P. and Hernández, M. (2006) Pleurotus sp. Strains Culture on Coffee Pulp. Mexican Magazine of Mycology, 23, 99-101.
[19] Romero, O., Huerta, M., Damián, M.á. and Macías, A. (2010) Evaluation of the Productive Capacity of Pleurotus ostreatus on Dehydrated Banana Leaves (Musa paradisiaca L., cv. Roatan) over Other Agricultural Substrates. Costa Rican Agronomy, 34, 53-63.
[20] Cano Blanco, M., León Galicia, A., Rabell Contreras, M.F., Vázquez Morillas, A. and Osada Velázquez, M.H. (2011) Performance Assessment of a Self-Constructed UV Chamber for Plastic Degradation. Global Plastics Environmental Conference, Society of Plastics Engineers Environmental Division, Atlanta.
[21] ASTM D882-10 (2010) Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting.
[22] Belewu, M.A. and Belewu, K.Y. (2005) Cultivation of Mushroom (Volvariella volvacea) on Banana Leaves. African Journal of Biotechnology, 4, 1401-1403.
[23] Coda, E., Pujol, O. and Aradilla Zapata, D. (2007) Degradation of Waste Plastic Materials. Chemical Engineering, 448, 186-190.
[24] Wang, D., Sakoda, A. and Suzuki, M. (2001) Biological Efficiency and Nutritional Value of Pleurotus ostreatus Cultivated on Spent Beer Grain. Bioresource Technology, 78, 293-300.
[25] Barba Chávez, J.M.A., López Cruz, J.I. and Castaneda de León, V.T. (2006) The Culture of Edible Oyster Mushrooms as an Industrial Development Process in Mexico. AGT, Mexico City.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.