Recently, a number of businesses have been introducing bioplastic products. Bioplastic products are presented as an alternative to what can be called “conventional” or “traditional” plastic made from non-renewable fossil resources in the form of oil and natural gas, and which further contribute to environmental damage when the product is incinerated after use. Moreover, a number of cardboard products and cardboard-bioplastic blends have also been introduced alongside claims such as “compostable” and “biodegradable.”
As a business or as a consumer, it is important to take care not to be misled by prefixes such as “bio” and words such as “compostable” and “biodegradable”, believing that this means the material or product is therefore sustainable and has no environmental impact. In the following, we provide an introduction to some of the concepts and evaluation methods for bio-based materials.
Bioplastic – from plants or plant waste?
Bioplastic can be produced using material from
- Plants containing sugar, such as sugar cane, sugar beet, bamboo, corn and other cereal grains.
- Raw materials containing lignocellulose, such as wood
There are a number of diff