Bioplastics are a type of plastic material that is derived from renewable resources, such as plant-based feedstocks. They are more environmentally friendly than traditional petroleum-based plastics and are considered a sustainable alternative because they reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and can offer many environmental benefits.
Bioplastics are typically made from renewable resources like corn starch, sugarcane, potato starch, or cellulose derived from wood pulp. The production of bioplastics results in a lower carbon footprint than conventional plastics made from fossil fuels because the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted during bioplastic production is offset by the CO2 absorbed by the plants during their growth.
Many bioplastics are designed to be biodegradable, meaning they can break down into natural compounds (such as water and carbon dioxide) under specific environmental conditions. This feature can reduce plastic waste. Many bioplastics are compostable, which can be broken down in industrial composting facilities along with organic waste. Compostable bioplastics can contribute to the production of nutrient-rich compost. Bioplastics are engineered to have various properties, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. They can be used in packaging, agricultural films, disposable cutlery, textiles, automotive components, etc.
There are several different types of bioplastics, including Polylactic Acid (PLA), which is made from fermented plant starch (usually corn) and commonly used in packaging materials, disposable tableware, and textiles, Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which are produced by bacteria that consume plant-based sugars and used in a variety of applications, including packaging and medical devices, and biopolyethylene (Bio-PE), a bio-based version of traditional polyethylene, used in plastic bags and bottles.
Bioplastics certainly play a role in reducing the environmental impact of plastics. For over 25 years, Lee Enterprises Consulting has assisted companies and investors with issues relating to bioenergy, biofuels, biomaterials and chemicals, biotechnologies, and feedstocks. With over 150 consultants, we have the diverse expertise and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project worldwide. These seasoned professionals average over 30 years of industry experience. Our ability to assemble these professionals into multidisciplinary teams allows us to fully integrate a project’s technical, scientific, and regulatory aspects and combine them with years of hands-on experience. Please take a look at our experts and the services we provide. You will note that most of our experts are also available for ancillary engagements and advice for specialty engagements like serving as expert witnesses in litigation matters. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.