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Pros and cons of biodegradable plastics and bioplastics

Most popular biodegradable bio-based plastics on the market are the polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and the starch-based polymer polybutylene succinate (PBS (Greene and Tonjes 2014). Renewable biological resources, often referred as bio-based content for the production of these plastics, are sourced from crops such as sugarcane, soy, maize and potatoes. Bioplastics are used in sectors such as packaging, textiles, automotive applications and agriculture (European Bioplastics 2018). Bioplastics include many materials that are either bio-based plastics (plant-based plastics that can be either biodegradable or non-biodegradable) or biodegradable fossil-based plastics (Tokiwa et al. 2009; Emadian et al. 2017; Norwegian Environment Agency 2018). The bio-based content of bioplastics differs, and the material’s actual chemical and physical structure highly affects its biodegradability. At the same time, the different environments in which they are used and/or disposed of, such as soils or the marine environment, play a crucial role in bioplastics biodegradation (Emadian et al. 2017).

Year: 2021

From collection: Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics

Cartographer: GRID-Arendal/Studio Atlantis

Tags: marine litter plastic waste vital graphics

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