What are biobased plastics? Is biobased the only sustainable type of plastics? Are biobased plastics always biodegradable? These are the most common question, and we will give you a few very general answers to them below.
What are biobased plastics?
Biobased plastics are made of feedstock from plants. It can be derived in one or many steps, most commonly many steps. One example is polytehylene made from sugare canes. The sugar from the sugar cane is first converted into alcohol through fermentation and then the alcohol is converted into ethylene and the ethylene into polyethylene through conventional mathods. You can make plastics from almost any carbon source, the trick is to do it as efficantly as possible. Plants are very good at capturing carbon from the atmosphere through the photosynthesis. If we could find an industrial proces to capture CO2 as effectivly as plants from the atmosphere this would also be a possible carbon sourse when making plastics.
Are there any commercially available biobased plastics?
There are a few available. The most comonly available is the PE made from sugare cane in Brazil. This material answers the question if biobased plastics always are biodegradeable. No, a biobased PE is as stable as any fossil based PE.