Bio-plastics are Biodegradable or Biobased materials. Bio-plastics are a type of plastic, which is made from renewable Biomass sources, for example, Corn Starch, Vegetable Oils and Fats, Food Waste, Wood, etc.
So, Bio-plastic can be made from by-products of agriculture, from used plastics, chemical compounds, genetically modified plants, as well as other containers using micro-organisms. The traditional plastic is derived from Petroleum and is harmful to the environment, whereas, Bio-plastic is derived from renewable resources and are biodegradable in nature.
Due to the extensive use of traditional plastic, it causes pollution and is non-biodegradable in nature. Despite putting forward the initiative of reusing the plastic, the recycling process is very slow and a huge amount of land and water is covered with plastics. Now, the use of Bio-plastic has been initiated to minimize the level of pollution on earth. Degradation of the chemical links between the monomers in the plastic is done by microorganisms or by water.
Bio-plastic is 100% degradable and equally strong and versatile like petroleum plastic. Bio-plastics are used in various fields like Agriculture, Medicine, Textile, and many more industries for fulfilling the packaging purpose in all these industries.
Petroleum Plastic not only causes pollution but also causes the death of Marine Species and fowl that eat them and poses a serious environmental hazard like, Garbage patches or Island of Garbage. Due to which many countries have banned the use of petroleum plastic and even charges tax on using it.
Benefits of Bio-plastic
a) Bio-plastic reduces Carbon Footprints.
b) Bio-plastic does not involve the use of non-renewable raw materials.
c) Bio-plastic is not made up of chemicals which are harmful to health, like Phthalates and Bisphenol A.
d) Bio-plastic does not change the flavor or smell of the food contained.
e) Bio-plastic minimizes the burden of existing waste systems and also the environment.
f) Bio-plastic breaks down much easier as compared to petroleum plastic.
g) Bio-plastic does not release harmful chemicals while breaking down.
h) Bio-plastic requires less energy while being in the production phase.
i) Bio-plastic minimizes the emission of Green House Gases.
j) Bio-plastic is recyclable in nature, so it decreases the level of pollution.
Drawbacks of Bio-plastic
a) Bio-plastic requires Industrial Composters to turn them into compost and re-use again.
b) Bio-plastic made from organic sources may carry pesticides and chemicals with them, which could be harmful to health.
c) Bio-plastic should be recycled separately, i.e. if they came in contact with non-biodegradable plastic, then these Bio-plastics cannot be used again.
Growing demand for Bio-plastic is due to
1. Environmental Awareness: Now, people are taking much more interest in saving the environment from future consequences. So, every country is trying to get it into the practice of using environmentally friendly products. In result, the Government in many countries banned the use of plastic completely and partially both; many shops and supermarket have stopped providing plastics bags and introduced the use of Bio-plastic bags.
2. Changes in the Law: Many countries ban the use of petroleum plastic in personal and commercial use as well, which makes the increase in demand for Bio-plastic bags.
3. Product Feature: Biodegradable plastics are used for industrial purposes, and biodegradable products are also in demand. Example: Plants and Flower planted into the pot can straightly place into the soil to get biodegrade naturally.
4. Reduction in Waste: The increase in the use of Bio-plastic helps in the reduction of the amount of waste produced. It makes the environment much clean and minimizes pollution level.