Biodegradable Plastic to Save the Planet - What are Bioplastics? - Printable Version
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Biodegradable Plastic to Save the Planet - What are Bioplastics? - Jessica - 07-03-2010
In this era we all are concerned about the environmental pollution as the world climate is getting worse day by day. Today one of the big challenges is to introduce environmentally friendly material in every sector of our life. Traditional plastics pose serious threat to our environment. So now it is the time to reject it and adopt environmentally safe biodegradable plastic. Biotechnology has given us this ultimate gift to save our environment.
Bioplastics are decomposable in natural aerobic (composting) and anaerobic (landfill) conditions. This biodegradation occurs by enabling microorganism in the environment to metabolize the molecular structure of plastic films in order to produce inert humus like material which is safe to environment. The application of bio-active compounds with swelling agents ensures that, when combined with heat and moisture, they will expand the molecular structure of plastic and the bio-active compounds will be metabolized as well as the plastic will be neutralized.
Bioplastics are of various types like starch based plastic which constitute about 50 percent of the bioplastic market and currently thermoplastic starch is considered as the most important and widely used bioplastic. Polylactic acid (PLA) plastics are produced from cane sugar or glucose. The biopolymer poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) is produced by certain bacteria processing glucose or starch. It is produced on industrial scale in South American sugar industry. Transparent film is produced by it at a melting point higher than 130 degree Celsius and it can be biodegraded without residue. Currently researches are going on to introduce genetically modified bioplastic which is a great challenge to bioplastic industry.
As biodegradable plastic relies less on fossil fuel as a carbon source and also produces less net-new greenhouse emissions during biodegradation so the production and use of bioplastic is regarded as a more sustainable activity in comparison to petro plastics. Bioplastics decreases hazardous waste produced by oil-derived plastics which remain unchanged for hundreds of years and open a new era in packing technology and industry. Many studies have shown that biodegradable plastics represent a 42% reduction in carbon footprint.
The degree to which biodegradable plastics are degrading varies with temperature, polymer stability and available oxygen content. They require tightly controlled conditions to be degraded. According to the Society of Plastics Engineers over 200 million tons of plastic is annually manufactured around the world among which only USA manufactures 26 tones alone. According to EPA report 5.8% of those 26 million tones of plastic waste is recycled. Certified biodegradable plastic serves the utility of plastic e.g. light weight, resistance, relative low cost etc. with full ability to biodegrade in a compost facility. Biodegradable plastics enable composting of a much large portion of non-recoverable solid waste as they can be readily commingled with other organic wastes. This makes commercial composting of all mixed organics commercially viable and economically sustainable. The use of biodegradable plastics is an enabler for complete recovery of large quantities of municipal solid waste via aerobic composting.
By introducing biodegradable plastics solution to a world of manufacturing we will be able to aid the environment in an effective way. If we consider their cost, except cellulose most of the biodegradable plastic technology is relatively new and is currently not cost competitive with traditional plastic. In some special applications bioplastics are unbeatable because of the reason of pure material costs form only a part of the entire product cost.
RE: Biodegradable Plastic to Save the Planet - What are Bioplastics? - rosaclinic - 09-06-2012
Bioplastics should be introduced in the local markets of every country so we can save the world from the harmful effects of commonly used plastic. It can be a great step towards saving the environment and finally this earth.
RE: Biodegradable Plastic to Save the Planet - What are Bioplastics? - ExpertScie - 10-15-2012
Biodegradable plastic is like a huge green tree which is full of greenery,shed, with beautiful flowers and fruits in a way on which you are walking from last many hours with lot of heat, dust , thrust and impurities all around. The moment you feel that ever green tree, you regain your energy, relax and refresh yourself. For today’s world which is engaged in industrial and other developments, but at the same time which is resulting in generations of hazardous waste like plastic, Co2 ,hazardous non-degradable polymers and toxic chemicals, this biodegradable plastic can act as that huge green tree on the way of industrial development !
Increasing level of hazardous waste and plastic is a major concern today. This is just not a concern but need serious immediate attention of everyone on the earth so as to control and prevent it from affecting the balance of ecology and environment.
Today with the development of science, many form of biodegradable plastic are being produced and used worldwide. This is not only helping manufacturers in reducing the cost but also benefiting them to get carbon credits as well as helping mankind to counter effects of global warming by one or another way.
Let us all join! Together let us commit, to save our environment & beautiful planet earth. Nature had given us those ever green trees, why not we at least give him biodegradable plastics!
RE: Biodegradable Plastic to Save the Planet - What are Bioplastics? - lankshire - 03-01-2013
Bioplastics are of various types like starch based plastic which constitute about 50 percent of the bioplastic market and currently thermoplastic starch is considered as the most important and widely used bioplastic.