Bioplastics, advantages and contraindications

Bioplastics, advantages and contraindications

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Therebioplasticit's aplastic materialderived from renewable sources obiodegradable. The time ofdecompositionof thebioplasticit varies a lot according to the starting materials and the composting conditions. In humid environments such as special composters, thebioplastichas the ability tobiodegradein a few months, however, in dry environments and with the appropriate treatments, thebioplasticscan ensure an excellent seal.

There are many types ofbioplasticwidespread on the market. Some examples ofbioplasticsI'm:

  • Bioplastic obtained from food crops such as corn starch, wheat, tapioca, potatoes. The commercial names areBolice, Biplast, Cereplast Compostables, Biotecnomais, Vegemat, Solanyl ...
  • Biodegradable bioplastics for industrial plastics (API) applications, trade nameApinat.
  • Poly bioplastics, obtained from sugars.
  • PHA polyhydroxyalkanoates and derivatives: polyhydroxybutyrane, polyhydroxyvaleriate, polyhydroxyhexanoate
  • Cellulose-based bioplastics as biograde.
  • Bioplastics derived from waste from tomato processing.
  • Bioplastics derived from waste from banana processing.

The applications of thebioplasticthey are infinite; just like the less ethical little sister (derived from petroleum, the classic plastic), thebioplastichas captured the attention of various industries, from the agricultural sector to the automotive sector. Among the latest initiatives, theMazdahas developed asustainable plasticin partnership with Mitsubishi Chemichals, for the production of interiors in the Automotive sector. Thisbioplasticwill debut for the first time with the Mazda MX-5 due out in 2015.

As well as theMazda and Mitsubishi, the Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with the HJ Jeinz Company, has also developed ad hoc solutions for the interior design of passenger cars. This time thebioplasticwas obtained by processingtomato scraps. Not only interiors but also supports for the mechanical parts, cables and coatings for the storage compartments.

Therebioplasticit can give life to particular fabrics, so it is also widely used in the textile and shoe industries. The ecological shoesThe FlexI am an example.

Bioplastics, the advantages

The advantages of using bioplastic are easy to imagine:

  • It is biodegradable, it solves the problem of disposal times required for plastic derived from petroleum.
  • It reduces waste management costs, especially if used on a large scale by the agri-food industry.
  • Biodegradable yes but also recyclable: it can lead to the production of agricultural fertilizers.
  • Particularly hygienic, perfect for use as food packaging or as a container for drinks and food for home use.
  • Lower emissions of toxic fumes in the case of incineration.
  • Cleaner production chain

Bioplastics, the disadvantages

Unfortunately, the bioplastics currently on the market are mainly composed of flour or starch of corn, wheat or other cereals, there are few bioplastic derived from agricultural or food waste. Among the cons, we see that the production of bioplastic it could have a negative impact on food availability by causing higher prices for food such as bread and pasta.

Furthermore, according to a study conducted in Germany by the Federal Environment Agency, the biodegradable plastic it offers no environmental advantage over traditional plastic because the public is not ready to dispose of it properly. According to the German research, the bioplastic though biodegradable, does not end up in suitable composting systems but is disposed of in landfills and kept in dry places that inhibit biodegradation.

Video: South Africas biomaterials sector: Examining demand-side policies for bioplastics (August 2022).