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Bioplastics and Biodegradability

Bioplastics are materials used in the production of a wide range of industries. Bioplastics are an excellent alternative to their conventional counterpart that has been used for a long time and are gradually inflicting serious environmental threats resulting in climate change. Bioplastics are safe for the environment in multiple ways, from the raw material produced to the manufacturing process to make finished products. It imposes little to no pollution protecting the planet from the effects of global warming due to its easy biodegradable ability. Bioplastics can be classified under two categories, and they include:

  • Fossil-based bioplastics
  • Bio-based bioplastics

The components of bioplastics are of two kinds, and those include the following:

  1. Bioplastics are precisely made using sustainable products and derived from a substance called biomass. Sustainable products refer to the place of origin of the materials that go into the production of bioplastics.
  2. As per international regulatory guidelines like D6400 and EN 13432, bioplastics are compostable and biodegradable. The raw materials used in the production of these bioplastics are either non-renewable or biobased.

A briefing on biodegradability

It is assumed that biodegradable and biobased plastics are the same but completely different products. A bioplastic that is 100% biobased might not be decomposable or biodegradable. However, bioplastic that is fully fossil-based can be biodegradable. Biobased, compostable products like coffee pods, cups, take-out containers, bags, plates, food boxes, and other biobased utensils are naturally biodegradable. Recently, bioplastics made using non-renewable raw materials have been used to produce various compostable commercial items.

Biodegradable plastics can be decomposed with the help of microorganisms like fungi or bacteria. It contains organic carbon that is eventually converted into water, biomass, carbon dioxide, or methane under different environments.

Biodegradability and bioplastics are relatively used, though they are not the same. The reliability of these two concepts is essential in recent times to curtail the ill effects on the environment and make the place a haven for future generations.