Bioplastics, Plant residues, Waste
Objective: To analyze the recent contributions of bioplastics in addressing environmental problems caused by plastic pollution.
Design/Methodology/Approach: A literature review was carried out on the definitions of plastics and bioplastics, the sources of raw materials, processing technologies and methods to assess biodegradation. Current practices for final disposal and/or reuse were also examined. Special emphasis was placed on polylactic acid (PLA), one of the most widely used biodegradable materials today.
Results: Over the years, there have been significant developments in the definitions of plastics and bioplastics, as well as in the sources of raw materials and processing technologies used to create final plastic products. By using bioplastics instead of conventional plastics, it is possible to reduce the dependence on petroleum and mitigate the pollution associated with plastic production and disposal. Furthermore, the enhanced biodegradability of bioplastics ensures that they break down more readily in natural environments, reducing the accumulation of plastic waste and its detrimental impact on ecosystems. The production of bioplastics using plant fibers, biological materials, and polymeric waste materials presents an opportunity for integration into the productive activities of the agro-industrial sector. This integration brings several benefits and synergies between agriculture and industry.
Study limitations/Implications: We provide a report based on the literature.
Findings/Conclusions: there is a notable current trend in the utilization of bioplastics as a viable substitute for conventional plastics. In order to assess the biodegradability and compostability of these materials, specific testing and certification standards have been established by reputable organizations. These standards serve as a reliable framework for evaluating the environmental impact and degradation characteristics of bioplastics. By adhering to these guidelines, manufacturers can ensure that their bioplastic products meet the necessary criteria for sustainable use.