What exactly is bioplastic? What are their responsibilities in the plastics industry? What are the distinguishing characteristics? Everything will be explained in detail in this article by Biopolymer.
Nobody can deny the versatility of plastic materials (plastics) in many applications in human life; they appear in almost every field. However, with the world’s general trend toward a higher quality of life, less environmental pollution, and less waste, humanity requires another material with the same application flexibility as plastic. Traditional but environmentally friendly.
That is what gave birth to bioplastics.
Bioplastics appear and solve a variety of problems, including:
- Reduce reliance on finite fossil fuel (oil) resources, which will eventually run out.
- Pollution of the air, soil, and water
Because of the benefits listed above, bioplastics appear to be a valuable source of raw materials capable of meeting a wide range of human needs.
What are Bioplastics?
Bioplastic is a bioplastic line product made from natural materials such as vegetable fat, starch, corn, potatoes, straw, coffee, and bamboo.
Bioplastics will contain different proportions of natural ingredients depending on the purpose of use and the needs of each product, which is also one of the factors affecting the material’s biodegradability.
A simple example of a bioplastic bag must be adjusted, weighed in composition, and used the appropriate technology so that its decomposition time is faster than that of a product. other items, such as reusable cups and dishes
Furthermore, when it comes to bioplastics’ biodegradability, not all products made from this material can be completely decomposed; there are products that decompose only a few tens of percent non-biodegradable.
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Why do we need to understand bioplastics?
- Current use of plastic waste: According to statistics, the world generates approximately 300 million tons of plastic waste each year, which is nearly equal to the weight of the entire global population and is discharged into the environment. 1.8 million tons of plastic, 730,000 tons of which are released into the sea
Effects on human health and the environment: These microplastics will enter the water, soil, air, and food… and will have a direct impact on people’s health when they come into contact with and eat these microplastics.
On the other hand, because they are difficult to decompose, they can remain in the soil for hundreds of years, changing the physical properties of the soil and polluting the soil environment. Water retention causes erosion, a lack of nutrients, and decreased plant growth.
Using bioplastics in manufacturing: When it comes to new material solutions and the goal of sustainable production and consumption, bioplastics have a number of (potential) advantages. Advances in manufacturing are allowing the production of bioplastics with controllable physical properties, allowing them to mimic the properties of oil-based plastics. Some bioplastics’ properties enable new applications.
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How should bioplastics be classified?
Biopolymer will provide more information about bioplastics to make it easier to understand. Bioplastics are typically classified based on their degradability. As a result, divide them into two groups for the time being:
Granules of non-biodegradable bioplastic
This is a raw material derived from renewable sources (starch, potato, cassava, barley…), similar to PE, PP, PET, PA, PTT, and so on.
During the manufacturing process, however, the starch component will ferment to form ethanol, then synthesize into ethylene/propylene and continue to polymerize into a plastic product with the same properties as the traditional PE/PP plastic that they used.
As a result, despite being made from renewable materials, they are completely non-biodegradable and only biodegradable.
Plastic beads that are biodegradable
This is a bioplastic material that microorganisms can decompose into CO2, H2O, humus, biomass, and so on.
This transformation occurs as a result of starch fermentation into acid.
The biodegradability of the materials will be affected by the chemical properties of the polymers that comprise them.
Some criteria for assessing biodegradable plastic beads
With so many different raw materials and products on the market, how do you know which ones are biodegradable?
The answer will be based on internationally agreed-upon evaluation standards.
- DIN CERTO COMPOSTABLE: This standard’s certification indicates the ability to decompose the composition of plant fertilizers.
- TUV OK BIOBASED: This standard’s certification proves the source of products made from renewable ingredients (potato, cassava, corn…), but it does not imply that they are completely biodegradable.
- USDA BIOBASED: This standard’s certification is similar to TUV OK BIOBASED.
- Biodegradable Product Institute Compostable (BPI): The product will decompose safely under ASTM D6400-compliant industrial composting conditions.
- TUV OK Compost INDUSTRIAL: The product decomposes safely under EN 13432 industrial composting conditions.
- TUV OK Compost HOME: The product will decompose under EN 13432 home composting conditions.
- TUV OK Biodegradable SOIL: certified that the product will decompose after being buried in the ground and will have no negative environmental impact.
- TUV OK Biodegradable WATER: certified that the product will decompose in fresh water in the natural environment, significantly reducing waste in rivers and lakes.
In addition, to learn more about bioplastics standards and certifications, please see the article “5 prestigious bioplastics certifications.”
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