The popularity and use of bio-based plastics have been growing steadily mostly because these plastics play a crucial role in protecting and safeguarding the environment from pollution. These plastics are made from renewable biomass materials like vegetable oils, fossil fuels, and cornstarch among other materials. Depending on their manufacture, most bioplastics are degradable and break down in aerobic or anaerobic environments. The production of these plastics is environment-friendly, as it does not emit any greenhouse gases.
The greatest advantage and benefit of using bioplastics is creating a healthier environment and less polluted ecosystem. The increased use and reliance on bio-based plastics has been crucial in addressing the problem of overflowing plastic landfills. In addition to this, these bioplastics do not contain any chemicals, contaminants, or toxins that interfere with the quality of the items they are used to pack. The plastics have no negative impact or effects on consumer products.
Also, bioplastics greatly contribute in reducing energy footprint thus enabling conservation of the environment. Unlike the manufacture of conventional plastics that results in the high use of energy, the production of bioplastics is very energy efficient.
The application and use of bio-based plastics are mostly in packaging, crockery, cutlery, bowls, and pots among other applications. These plastics are also often used for making bags, trays, egg cartons, blister foils, fruit & vegetable containers, soft drinks & dairy products bottling, and meat packaging. In recent years, these plastics have been used for non-disposable applications such as mobile phone casings, insulating car interiors, fuel lines, carpet fibers, and plastic piping.
In some areas such as the auto industry and electricity sector, the use of bio-based plastics is mainly due to the need for using sustainable resources as opposed to biodegradability. It is also worth noting that these plastics are now being used in engineering grade applications due to their high quality and dependability.
The only downside to using bioplastics especially for food packaging is that insects are more attracted to bioplastics than conventional plastics. This creates a need for keeping your bioplastic food packages away from the reach of insects. Other than that, the use of bioplastics is far much advantageous and beneficial than that of conventional plastics in terms of convenience, cost, and environmental protection.
Is It Sustainable?
The use of bio-based plastics is sustainable since the biomass materials used in the manufacture of these plastics is readily available and occurs naturally in the environment. What is more important about these plastics is that their production relies on fossil fuels, which are renewable. These plastics are recyclable and can thus be re-manufactured to other useful bioplastics with wider applications. Bioplastics are more expensive than conventional plastics, but they are more reliable, durable and dependable in the long run.