The What and Simple How of Bioplastics

It is truly not pleasant to see heaps of cellophane bags and other plastics lying on the backyard, and worse, on the streets. These materials are petroleum-based. They do not readily decay and they will remain as they are for as long as eternity. How we wish for biodegradable plastics! This might seem impossible but plastics can now decompose by themselves.

Otherwise known as organic plastics, bioplastics are plastics created from renewable biomass sources like vegetable oil, corn starch, cellulose, corn sugar, potaoes, algae, and many others. Some, but not all, bioplastics are designed to decay.

Biodegradable bioplastics are typically used for disposable items such organic waste bags, trays and containers for fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat, bottles for soft drinks and dairy products, and blister foils for fruits and vegetables.

Bioplastics can even be done at home as shown below.

Like other biodegradable materials, bioplastics produce green house gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane. However, methane from dump sites and landfill can be harvested as biogas for fuel generation. In terms of health, bioplastics do not contain bisphenol A (BPA), a known hormone disruptor which mimics estrogen.

Indeed, the use of bioplastic can aid in man’s quest to solve environmental problems he himself has caused to occur.

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