What are Bioplastics?
A bioplastic is a plastic that is made partly or wholly from polymers derived from biological sources such as sugarcane, potato starch or the cellulose from trees & straws. Some bioplastics degrade in the open air, others are made so that they compost in an industrial composting plant, aided by fungi, bacteria and enzymes. Others mimic the robustness and durability of conventional plastics such as polyethylene or PET.
Bioplastics can be classified –
Based on the biodegradability –
- Biodegradable plastics (PLA, PHA, starch blends etc)
- Non-biodegradable (partially bio-based) products (bio-based PET, PE, blends of PLA with petrochemical polymers)
Based on the degree of substitution –
- Drop-ins – Drop-in plastics are non-biodegradable materials, obtained from renewable raw materials that present identical technical properties to their fossil counterparts. They are (partly) biobased, non-biodegradable commodity plastics such as Bio-PE, Bio-PET, or Bio-PP.
- Non Drop-ins – Non Drop-ins are materials that may or may not be biodegradable but they don’t have identical technical properties to their fossil counterparts. They include PLA, PHA, Bio-PA, etc.
|Drop-ins||None||Bio-PET, Bio-PE, Bio-PP|
|Non Drop-ins||PLA, PHA, Starch & Cellulose based||Bio-based Polyamide