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Global Sustainability through Bioplastics

Global Sustainability through Bioplastics

Due to the increased cost of petroleum-based supplies, scarcity of oil and increasing environmental concerns with the dumping of non-biodegradable plastics in landfills; bioplastics are becoming progressively prominent. One of the reasons why the industry is showing a keen interest in bioplastics is because reserves of fossil resources are decreasing. Plastics used to make different products use about 4% of the world’s oil and more oil is used to in processing industries since plastics require a lot of energy to manufacture. As the use of fossil fuels is becoming increasingly expensive and oil is running out, the need to replace raw material for producing plastics is becoming more urgent.

Furthermore, using carbon-based sources of energy to manufacture plastics adds greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, impeding the world’s efforts to cut CO2 emissions that significantly affect the climate change. Since all major oil-based plastics have substitutes made from biological materials, we can overcome all these problems. It is a matter of time for oil-based plastics to be replaced by bioplastics eventually. Biopak is part of the solution in achieving the goal to replace oil-based plastics with bioplastics due to the products that we have in stock.

A bioplastic is a piece of plastic that is wholly or partly made from polymers derived from biological sources like cotton, sugar cane, straw, potato starch or the cellulose from trees. European Bioplastics defines a piece of plastic to be bioplastic if it is either biodegradable, biobased or has both properties.

Key Advantages of Bioplastics

Lower energy costs in manufacturing. The energy used to manufacture bioplastics is way less compared to that used in manufacturing oil-based plastics. Due to the oil scarcity, manufacturing oil-based plastics becomes increasingly exposed to fluctuating prices. Making one kilogram of oil-based plastic requires 20 kilowatts of energy to manufacture. This energy is more than the amount of energy needed to make the same weight of steel.

Lower carbon footprint. The carbon footprint of bioplastics is significantly dependent on whether the plastic permanently stores the carbon extracted from the air by the growing plant. A bioplastic sequesters the CO2 captured by the plant during photosynthesis process. The sequestration is reversed if the resulting bioplastic degrades back into water and CO2. But permanent bioplastics that are made to be similar to conventional plastics stores the CO2 forever. The CO2 that was initially taken from the atmosphere remains sequestered even if the plastic is recycled many times.

Improved compostability and reduction in litter from using biodegradable bioplastics. Bioplastics reduce permanent litter. Disposable plastic bags take the high percent of the litter in our oceans. Countries and cities around the world are action against the litter by sometimes banning all the non-degradable plastic bags.

Technical Advantages to Bioplastics

The substantial technical advantages to bioplastics depend on how the particular plastic is made and its use.

  • Improved printability. It is easier to print high-resolution images or legible texts on the bioplastics.
  • Less oily feel. It is possible to engineer bioplastics to offer more pleasant surface feel compared to the conventional plastics.
  • Bioplastics don't affect the taste of its content. For instance, you will notice a new taste of milk in a styrene cup but no such effect in the bioplastic container like the ones by Biopak.
  • Bioplastics may have greater water vapor permeability compared to conventional plastics.
  • Bioplastics can feel more tactile and softer.
  • Bioplastics can be more transparent and clearer.

Biopak is dedicated to the course of global sustainability through our bioplastic products.

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