Another issue with bioplastics, is that some bioplastics are made from the edible parts of crops. This makes the bioplastics compete with food production because the crops that produce bioplastics can also be used to feed people.
While plastics based on organic materials were manufactured by chemical companies throughout the 20th century, the first company solely focused on bioplastics- Marlborough Biopolymers- was founded in However, Marlborough and other ventures that followed failed to find commercial success, with the first such company to secure long-term financial success being the Italian company Novamont, founded in The expense and time requirements of researching and testing new bio-based and biodegradable polymers have placed bioplastics at a commercial disadvantage compared to petrochemical-based plastics.
Bioplastics remain less than one percent of all plastics manufactured worldwide,  and until very recently have been an average of times more expensive to manufacture than petrochemical plastics. As most bioplastics are produced from plant sugars, starches, or oils, it is estimated that replacing million tons of the plastic manufactured each year with bio-based plastics would require million hectares of land, or 7 percent of the arable land on Earth.
And when bioplastics reach the end of their life cycle, those designed to be compostable and marketed as biodegradable are often sent to landfills due to the lack of proper composting facilities or waste sorting, where they then release methane as they break down anaerobically. BCC Research forecast that the global market for biodegradable polymers would grow at a compound average growth rate of more than 17 percent through , and this rate of growth has actually been exceeded.
This demand from consumers for more sustainable options was also seen in recent policies; Italy has banned the use of petroleum-based plastic bags, and there is a tax on use of petroleum based plastic bags in Germany . However, the industry in biobased polymers has not grown as rapidly as some have predicted.
This remains only a small fraction of all plastics manufacturing, which produced a total million tonnes of thermoplastics in This includes a lack of any regulation on the amount of sustainably sourced material in a product required for it to be marketed as a bioplastic.
Because of the fragmentation in the market and ambiguous definitions it is difficult to describe the total market size for bioplastics, but estimates put global production capacity at , tonnes. The EN industrial standard must be met in order to claim that a plastic product is compostable in the European marketplace.
Many starch -based plastics, PLA-based plastics and certain aliphatic - aromatic co- polyester compounds, such as succinates and adipates , have obtained these certificates. Additive-based bioplastics sold as photodegradable or Oxo Biodegradable do not comply with these standards in their current form. The ASTM D method for determining the compostability of a plastic defined the word compostable as follows:.
The only criterion this standard does describe is that a compostable plastic must look to be going away as fast as something else one has already established to be compostable under the traditional definition. Its description is as follows:. This guide covered suggested criteria, procedures, and a general approach to establish the compostability of environmentally degradable plastics.
Cosmic rays colliding with the atmosphere mean that some of the carbon is the radioactive isotope carbon CO 2 from the atmosphere is used by plants in photosynthesis , so new plant material will contain both carbon and carbon Under the right conditions, and over geological timescales, the remains of living organisms can be transformed into fossil fuels. A product made from biomass will have a relatively high level of carbon, while a product made from petrochemicals will have no carbon The percentage of renewable carbon in a material solid or liquid can be measured with an accelerator mass spectrometer.
Bio-based polymers for sustainable packaging and biobarriers: A critical review :: BioResources
There is an important difference between biodegradability and biobased content. These bioplastics such as HDPE nonetheless play an important role in greenhouse gas abatement, particularly when they are combusted for energy production. The biobased component of these bioplastics is considered carbon-neutral since their origin is from biomass. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about plastics made from renewable biomass. For the information on plastics that are biodegradable, see biodegradable plastic.
IUPAC definition. Biobased polymer derived from the biomass or issued from monomers derived from the biomass and which, at some stage in its processing into finished products, can be shaped by flow. Note 1 : Bioplastic is generally used as the opposite of polymer derived from fossil resources. Note 2 : Bioplastic is misleading because it suggests that any polymer derived from the biomass is environmentally friendly.
Note 3 : The use of the term "bioplastic" is discouraged. Use the expression "biobased polymer". Note 4 : A biobased polymer similar to a petrobased one does not imply any superiority with respect to the environment unless the comparison of respective life cycle assessments is favourable. Main article: Renewable Polyethylene. Further information: Biodegradable plastic. Further information: List of bioplastic producers. This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.
Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Ecology portal. Ma March Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. Chemical Reviews. Retrieved Retrieved on Journal of Applied Polymer Science. Archived from the original on August 14, Plastics Technology. Archived from the original on 17 April Archived from the original on Reinforced Plastics. February Plastics Engineering. Archived from the original on October 23, Bibcode : MaMol.. Brutman; Christopher J.
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Bio-based polymers and materials
Bioplastics News. March Journal of Polymer and Biopolymer Physics Chemistry. Grand View Research. UBM Americas. VTT Research Notes. December International Polymer Processing. The Brooklyn Rail. May Science News. January November Data in Brief. Overall, the market environment remains challenging with low crude oil prices and little political support,. Thus far, the two major advantages of bio-based polymers have singularly failed to win political acknowledgement.
The first advantage is that bio-based polymers replace fossil carbon in the production process with renewable carbon from biomass. While vital for a sustainable, environmentally friendly plastics industry, it has generated little political traction to date.
The second advantage relates to the end of life: around a quarter of the biobased polymers produced are biodegradable depending on the environment and could therefore offer a solution in the case of plastics that are unable to be collected for recycling. Only a few countries such as Italy, France and, in future probably Spain will politically support this additional disposal route.