Bioplastic is one of the materials leading the trend and attracting attention in the plastic industry as well as in human life. Information about the 3 most popular types of bioplastics on the market today will be detailed in the article below.

The problem of environmental pollution caused by plastic waste is still alarming. Scientists recommend using bioplastics to replace regular plastics. That’s why Biopolymer is created, contributing to reducing the use of plastic

Bioplastics – the solution for the future of the plastic industry
Bioplastics – the solution for the future of the plastic industry

Bioplastics or specifically bioplastic resins are understood as plastic resins that are combined from starch (wheat starch, corn, potatoes, …) and ordinary plastic resins (derived from petroleum) that have been broken. polymer bonding. Depending on the type of product produced, the mixing ratio between coffee grounds and ordinary plastic granules is regulated, up to a maximum of 50% starch. The most commonly used bioplastic is PLA

1. Orientation for the birth of bioplastics

Environmental pollution in general and plastic pollution in particular is the leading cause that urges people and the world to come up with new directions for alternative materials, which are bioplastics. Pollution levels are increasing day by day as plastic is used more, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Scientists have also found microplastics entering the human food chain.

Plastic pollution is the main reason driving the world to develop bioplastic material
Plastic pollution is the main reason driving the world to develop bioplastic material

Therefore, bio-based plastic research is being focused with the goal of moving towards a more sustainable and greener environment, which is the solution with the lowest environmental impact. Eco-friendly and biodegradable bioplastics can have similar features to petroleum-based plastics, moreover, they are more profitable due to their much lower carbon footprint.

Biodegradable plastic resins - Biopolymer
Biodegradable plastic resins – Biopolymer

Interest in the production and use of bioplastic materials or, more specifically, bioplastics is becoming more and more popular. Therefore, competition is also increasing due to its role in helping to limit environmental pollution and waste management.

Current bioplastics can meet many applications, one of which is in the food industry, meeting many problems related to packaging, food service,…etc. Biodegradable plastics are playing an important part in the sustainability of the entire food industry, helping to maintain high quality standards throughout the production and transforming into a cleaner, smarter waste management and distribution chain.

Products made from biodegradable plastic resins
Products made from biodegradable plastic resins

2. Classification of environmentally friendly bioplastics

If you are facing a barrier because you cannot distinguish which is the eco-friendly bioplastic? Is it biodegradable or not? Which of these plastics is really good for the environment?

2.1 Bioplastics

Bioplastic, also known as organic plastic, is defined as a plastic derived from living organisms and formed from renewable materials from nature such as corn flour, rice flour, potatoes, cassava … or by a variable microorganisms that have the potential to have a positive impact on the environment.

Bioplastic resins
Bioplastic resins

However, this type of bioplastic is also divided into 2 types based on degradability: Biodegradable and non-biodegradable bioplastics.

a) Biodegradable

Biodegradable bioplastics are plastics that, under the influence of microorganisms, will be completely transformed into CO2, H20, biomass… Common types of biodegradable bioplastics are:

PLA (polylactic acid) is a biological raw material for the production of plant starches such as corn, potatoes, cassava, etc.

PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) – these plastics can be made from microbial origin, applied in some cases in the medical field.

Coffee Bio-composite: Bioplastic derived from 60% natural coffee.

However, the popularity of PLA bioplastics is much higher than that of PHAs, typically due to the application and field of application of the two different types.

Great features of PLA plastic:

PLA plastic looks and acts like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene, so it is difficult to distinguish PLA from traditional plastic by the eye.

Degradability: The decomposition time of PLA plastic is quite short, only a few months or a few years.

Bioplastic PLA
Bioplastic PLA

When affected by microorganisms, this bioplastic will completely decompose into CO2, H2O, beneficial humus for the soil… This is the main factor that has created a lot of positive effects on the environment.

Environmental benefits:

According to NatureWorks, a company specializing in the production of bioplastics in the US, producing PLA bioplastics will save ⅔ of the energy compared to producing conventional plastics. From there, it helps to significantly save the petroleum energy resources that are being depleted in nature.

Unlike traditional plastic, when decomposed, PLA bioplastic does not increase the amount of CO2 in the air too much. In particular, if buried (composted), when decomposed, they will produce 70% less greenhouse gases.

Biodegradation process
Biodegradation process

Application: Because PLA plastic is not toxic to the human body, PLA plastic is currently being applied in many areas of life:

In the field of packaging: producing food wraps, supermarket bags, garbage bags, boxes, environmentally friendly straps…

In tissue engineering: PLA plastic is used to regenerate tissues in organs such as bones, cartilage, bladder, liver, mechanical heart valves, etc.

As a carrier and drug delivery material: PLA plastic is used to deliver drugs for patients with tetanus, diabetes or Paclitaxel for cancer patients…

In agriculture: PLA plastic is used as a biological mulch, which helps to increase the ripeness of the fruit, retain moisture, and prevent the weather elements.

In the field of electronics: PLA plastic is used to make computer cases, phone cases, laptop frame systems, etc.

Some applications of PLA plastic in life
Some applications of PLA plastic in life

PLA plastic production steps:

Step 1: Harvest tubers or corn of starchy plants such as corn, potatoes, cassava, seaweed, etc.

Step 2: Process and grind to extract into dextrose (a type of sugar).

Step 3: Fermentation to turn dextrose into lactic acid.

Step 4: Convert lactic acid to lactide in a chemical plant.

Step 5: Polymerize to produce long chain polylactide acid (PLA) molecules.

Thus, it can be seen that bioplastics such as PLA are currently the most optimal plastic for the environment today.

b) Bio-based

Plastics of biological origin but not biodegradable include: Bio-PE, Bio-PP, Bio-PET… They have completely similar properties to traditional plastics (of fossil origin). PE, PP, PET.

Although this type of bioplastic is made from natural materials such as rice flour, corn, potatoes, cassava, etc., in the production process these starches will be converted into ethanol and then synthesized. to ethylene/propylene but not polylactic acid (PLA).

From ethylene or propylene, people continue to conduct polymerization reactions to form traditional PE and PP plastics. In essence, PE and PP plastic do not decompose, but only break down into small pieces.

Therefore, although it is a bioplastic, it is not biodegradable.

However, because they are produced from renewable materials (rice flour, cornmeal, etc.). So in a broader sense, they are still somewhat friendlier than petroleum-based PP/PE plastics.

2.2 Bioplastics are only biodegradable

Bioplastics are only biodegradable (but derived from fossil materials) such as: PBAT (Polybutylene adipate terephthalate), PCL (Polycaprolactone), PBS (Polybutylene succinate) and PEF (Polyethylene furanoate).

2.3 Recycled plastic/eco plastic

As the name suggests, recycled plastic is a type of plastic that is created after the process of collecting and recycling old plastics. Recycled plastic saves materials and reduces plastic waste into the environment. Can also be called plastic reuse is still to avoid waste plastic industry as much, not biodegradable plastic

 Recycled plastic
 Recycled plastic

Some issues to note about recycled plastic:

Recycled plastic will not be used to produce the same item in the next time but will be produced into lower grade items.

Some products such as plastic bottles and plastic boxes can be recycled to produce new plastic products with lower grades than the original plastic.

3. Advantages of biodegradable plastic resins

Some good features that you should know are as follows:

Support to reduce plastic waste and be environmentally friendly:

Helps reduce the burden of pollution caused by plastic waste. The final stage of bioplastic decomposition will release CO2, H2O, biomass, etc., in small amounts into the environment. The amount of CO2 of the decomposition reaction will also be reabsorbed by plants into metabolism, so it generally does not pollute the environment.

Safe for human health: In the process of using products from bioplastics in general or bioplastics from our coffee grounds, we have international certificates of health safety or BPA free. After using, processing products from these plastic beads just need to be buried, no need to burn like ordinary plastic waste, so it will minimize harmful gases such as furan or dioxin… .

Reducing dependence on fossil fuels (oil)


4. Application of biodegradable plastic in product production

Currently, people are very interested in the use of products related to bioplastics, so biodegradable plastic beads are applied in many fields in life and production. The main aim is to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and be friendly to the environment and human health:

Applications in the production of packaging and coating films: They are often used in the production of bags or shopping bags, shading films for sun or rain in agriculture…

Applications in the packaging industry and disposable plastic products: For example: pineapple bags for food, cereals; or disposable knives, spoons, forks, bowls…

Applications in the medical industry

When buying bioplastics, you need to learn carefully about the standards and certifications of a quality bioplastics production unit.


5. Purchasing Policy

Please visit Biopolymer Website, then click “Contact Us” and leave the necessary information. Our Biopolymer team will advise on sizes and quotes as soon as possible.

Biopolymer is proud to be the first company specializing in developing products made from coffee grounds in Vietnam as well as in the world. Diverse product lines applied from coffee bioplastics such as furniture, cups, cups, daily life, etc. are being further developed by the company in the future. The aim is to bring green solutions for the next generation, contributing to promoting favorable economic policies from biodegradable plastic. Please like our Fanpage to update more information about bioplastics.

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