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What is Bioplastic —are they really better for the environment?

It is a bitter truth that plastic has become part of our lives. It is used in our daily consumables things so deliberately that we cannot avoid it. By 2014 stats, it was calculated that the plastic industry produced 311 million metric tons, and according to the World Economic Forum, it will be tripled in 2050. Only 15% of this plastic gets through the recycling process, and rest is burned, sits in landfills, or is surrendered in nature. As being impervious to microbial processing, it can endure for centuries. Plastic flotsam and jetsam aggregating in the sea causes a wide range of issues, from executing untamed life when erroneously ingested to discharging poisonous mixes. It can even enter our bodies by consuming seafood.
Bioplastic can resolve these issues, adding to the objective of a circular plastic economy in which plastics get from, used, and recycled to biomass again.

What is Bioplastic?

Plastic materials constructed by reusable biomass sources such as plant wastes or other biological stuff rather than petroleum is called Bioplastic.
Image of Tio brush made of bioplastic
Tio Bioplastic compatible brush 
The utilization of
bioplastics is being advanced steadily, consisting of acquiring natural polymers from farms, cellulose or potato, and corn starch squander. These are 100% degradable, similarly safe and adaptable, effectively utilized in farming, material industry, medication and, overall, in the holder and bundling business sector, and biopolymers are now getting well known in urban areas, all through Europe and the United States for biological reasons: they are known as PHA.

Pros of Bioplastic:

  • Energy savior in production
  • It eliminates the production of non-dissolvable waste that pollutes our environment.
  • It avoids such elements that cannot be recycled.
  • Do not contain additives that are injurious to health, e.g., bisphenol A or phthalates
  • Better preserver of food
  • They decrease the carbon impression

Types of Bioplastic

There are two major types of Bioplastics which are further sub-categorized due to their characteristics. One is Bio-based plastics, and the other one is Petroleum-based plastic.

Bio-based plastic:

  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs)
  • Polylactic acid (PLA)
  • Starch blends
  • Cellulose-based Plastics
  • Lignin-based polymer composites

Petroleum-based plastic:

  • Polyglycolic acid (PGA)
  • Polybutylene succinate (PBS)
  • Polycaprolactone (PCL)
  • Poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA, PVOH)
  • Polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT)

Companies of Bioplastic

Bioplastic has global attention now, and its market growing day by day. More than 50 companies are making bioplastic products including Siemens, Mitsubishi chemicals and Coca-cola.

How can it solve Major Pollution Problems?

Image of plastic bottle waste captured by  Andrew Martin from Pixabay
A scientific statement is that the bioplastics, which are made with sustainable, natural materials, has a dual advantage: utilizing waste to make items that are possibly snappier and simpler to discard than customary petroleum product based on plastics.
In any case, not all bioplastics are as naturally well disposed of as they are believed, unveiled by researchers and industry insiders. Some contain elevated levels of conventional plastic, and relying upon their uses and parts may not be biodegradable or compostable, making disposal of plastic again a challenge. Plastic creation and consumption are expected to be double in the coming two decades; intensifying stresses over the 8 million to 15 million tons of plastic are now being dumped into the sea every year.
As plastic contamination in both the ocean and freshwater snatches the media attention, bioplastics are drawing in a significant level of consideration, said David Grewell, executive of the Iowa-based Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites. According to him, Bioplastic is not the solution to every issue we are facing about plastic pollution. In addition, he also says that it’s definitely not okay and we should not make it a habit, tossing bioplastics into the water. While having faith that Bioplastic is a decomposable product, it’s safe to through it anywhere.

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