Plastics make our lives easier in many ways, but they can also contain potentially dangerous products that could harm our health at the same time. It is gaining in popularity but is still quite marginal. In 2016, China produced approximately 290,000 tons of biodegradable plastics. That number is equivalent to the annual emissions of 19 million vehicles. Biodegradable plastics are often considered a “savior product.” If we can transition to this item, then the potential for waste reduction, micro-plastic contamination, and even ocean acidity can all see significant benefits. These plastics turn to compost after a certain period and, therefore, cause minimum pollution. This process turns them into polymers that become useful for the industry. Example: bioplastics perform better in the category abiotic resource depletion compared to fossil fuel-based plastics, but have higher land and water use … Biodegradable plastics require use to use croplands to produce items. After plastics are formed, the traditional products will hold their carbon. Bioplastics cannot decompose in ocean water because it is too cold of an environment for the material. Biodegradable plastics may produce methane in landfills. 5. The best understood advantage of biodegradable bioplastics lies in the reduction of permanent litter. For instance, we’ve all heard of the damage that microplastics do to animal life. 2. The Guardian also reported in 2009 that one brand of biodegradable plastic contained high levels of lead and cobalt, which raised questions about the potential toxicity of what gets left behind after the decomposition process. Then the natural bacteria in the composting container digest it to produce something that can benefit the planet later on. Bioplastics include a wide and growing category of biological material based polymers that have their own unique attributes and uses. Biodegradables come from products like switchgrass or corn, which means we could redirect the petroleum being used by the industry to our transportation or heating needs instead. That is in addition to the 68% reduction in greenhouse gases that occur during the manufacturing process. That means it may not be an affordable solution for everyone right now, but it could be in the future. The growth rate in local sales was 13% from the year before, with the entire value of this segment worth over $350 million. We are producing more waste plastic today than ever before in human history. We consume over 100 million tons of plastic each year, which means the standard 5:1 ratio of production indicates that this industry produces 500 million tons of carbon dioxide that goes into our atmosphere each year. Many of the advantages of bioplastics rely on a net savings being created by a reducing of energy, water, or greenhouse gas emissions. Biodegradable plastics consume less energy during the manufacturing cycle. Bio-based plastics can help to reduce the dependency on limited fossil resources, which are expected to become significantly more expensive in the coming decades. One of the main benefits that bioplastics provide is the ability to use renewable energy sources during production. You must pay attention to the quality and labeling of the bioplastic items upon purchase to ensure that you are using items that can decompose rapidly. If we were to recycle our plastics each year, then our net carbon savings alone would be up to 30%, which some researchers suggesting the savings could be as high as 80%. That means many of the advantages that are possible with this product disappear in equatorial and far-northern climates. Biodegradable plastics are broken down by naturally-occurring bacteria. When you use biodegradable plastics instead of items made through the traditional refinement process, then fewer greenhouse gas emissions escape into the atmosphere. Sofeast has created An Importer’s Guide to New Product Manufacturing in China for entrepreneurs, hardware startups, and SMEs which gives you advance warning about the 3 most common pitfalls that can catch you out, and the best practices that the ‘large companies’ follow that YOU can adopt for a successful project. 7. Biodegradable plastics can reduce greenhouse gas emission levels. Because corn products represent 40% of the U.S.-based bioplastics industry, so it is notable that one acre requires 3,000 gallons of water for each bushel of yield. A study commissioned by the Biodegradable Products Institute in the 2000s found that the breakdown of these natural materials found in biodegradable plastic are exceptionally dependent on the weather conditions in the area. The Pros of Bioplastics Bioplastics are made from plant raw materials instead of petroleum oil, the raw material used to make conventional plastics. A large fraction of the litter in our oceans is of disposable plastic bags. You need to be aware of the pros and cons, before heading down the road to sourcing, quoting, and prototyping. 7. However, not all bioplastics can be degraded in a short time. Even bioplastics that are not entirely made from renewable raw materials often still contain a high percentage of them. Biodegradable plastics can decompose quickly in specific situations. Because there is no general oversight on the manufacturing cycle from crop growth to final distribution, there isn’t reliable data available to suggest that biodegradables are useful beyond the ability to offer more profits to some companies or create compost fodder. Plastics make up approximately 13% of our current waste stream. That leaves us with less waste to manage over all, reducing the potential for pollution in every biome. That means shareholders, executives, and employees all stand to gain from the potential for higher profits. Making biodegradables a top priority could become a moneymaking tool for the country that can perfect this technology first. Reclamation of by-products. Herbicides and pesticides are not tracked by this industry, so there is no way to know what your exposure levels might be when you encounter these natural products. Once the natural materials are turned into polymers, they can work with the ones that were manufactured using oil molecules. 2. Advantages and Disadvantages of PLA By Axel Barrett June 9, 2020 June 16, 2020 Here's a short video on the advantages and disadvantages of PLA Polylactic Acid made by Axel Barrett, Chief Editor of Bioplastics News. Because of this energy savings, the long-term cost of using biodegradables could be substantially less than traditional plastics – especially if the cleanup costs from plastic pollution are added to that calculation. Switching to biodegradable plastics would help to reduce the number of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the industry even further, despite the initial financial costs that would be required to make the transition. >> Learn more about bioplastic alternatives (in detail) by reading this white paper <<. Biodegradable plastics are bioplastics that are produced from petrochemicals with biodegradable additives and renewable raw materials. 10. If you were to throw out a bucket-full of traditional plastics into a landfill, then you would have methane and other forms of pollutants release as the product begins to decompose. Bioplastics are driving the evolution of plastics There are two significant advantages of biobased plastic products compared to their conventional versions: they save fossil resources by using biomass which regenerates (annually) and provides the unique potential of carbon neutrality. Does it really matter to you if there are biodegradable micro-plastics in your tap water instead of traditional plastics? Switching to biodegradables is a step in the right direction, but it is not the final solution that we require. The advantages of using bioplastics are easy to imagine: It is biodegradable, solves the problem of the long times that are required for the petroleum derived plastics. In the past, this substance was used in plastic tableware, water bottles, and sports equipment. Environmental benefits of bioplastics Biobased plastics have the unique advantage over conventional plastics to reduce the dependency on limited fossil resources and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or even be carbon neutral. 9. It's easy to subscribe to our newsletter where you'll receive weekly updates for professional importers and manufacturers on better understanding, controlling, and improving manufacturing & supply chain in China. This means that the supply of raw materials for bioplastics are at, The 3 deadly mistakes that will hurt your ability to manufacture a new product in China effectively, How to define an informed strategy and a realistic plan, How to structure your supply chain on a solid foundation, How to set the right expectations from the start, How to get the design and engineering right. Compostable Plastics, Advantages and Disadvantages By Axel Barrett May 20, 2020 May 27, 2020 Here's a short video on the advantages and disadvantages of Compostable Plastics made by Axel Barrett, Chief Editor of Bioplastics News. For one thing, they're more expensive than petrochemical plastics, costing between 20 to 100 percent more [source: Dell].The industrial processes for making petrochemical plastic have been in place for decades, so the production chain is very efficient. Bioplastics are used to make a lot of so-called “green” products like food containers, cutlery, bags, bottles, foams, electronics casings, medical supplies, and beyond. This outcome is achievable because the microorganisms in the environment are able to break down the structures which make the biodegradable plastic. Bioplastics also lower the carbon footprint. They consumed about 130,000 tons domestically, and then exported the remainder during that year. The other option makes the other plastic items that we consume. 6. 1. Low cost: plastic may seem cheap, but we must remember that contains oil, which is an expensive and finite source. If bioplastics don’t affect the environment as harshly, they must be a great alternative. One of the advantages related to the use of biodegradable plastics is the minimal emission of carbon in the air during the process of manufacturing bioplastics. Let’s take a detailed look at the pros and cons of the ‘sustainable’ bioplastics. Although biodegradable plastics offer a slightly higher cost in the production cycle, we actually consume less energy to produce them. Bioplastics and Sustainability The Natur-Tec ® Advantage Products created from biobased and compostable polymers offer many distinct advantages for brands seeking a sustainable alternative to conventional plastics (or recycled conventional plastics). As product designers look for more sustainable options to please increasingly environmentally savvy consumers, they are often looking at the advantages of bioplastics, such as lower production CO2 emissions, sustainable raw materials, biodegradability in many cases, and more…. That means we can mix the traditional manufacturing cycle with the natural one, reducing the percentage that comes from fossil fuels. Biodegradable plastics require less energy during the manufacturing cycle. Bioplastics have a number of advantages over their synthetic counterparts. We must also use water resources to crow the crops needed for the raw materials as well. We are producing more waste plastic … Many are compostable, a few might be biodegradable, and some are also recyclable. These items are finding their way into our oceans and even contaminating our drinking water. Biodegradable plastics do not account for herbicides and pesticides. It creates a result which is believed to be eco-friendly compared to the traditional plastics that we throw away every day. When facilities have the correct composting equipment available to manage biodegradable plastics, we can experience an entire breakdown of the product in 18-36 months, depending on what method is used. At our current technology levels, it costs up to 50% more to manufacture biodegradable plastics than it does to follow the traditional production cycle. There are typically two forms that we use today: solid and injection-molded. Our current technologies can produce 1 metric ton of PLA from 100 bushels of corn. When they begin to break down in the environment, bacteria in the soil begin to consume the components. Tweet Renaud here or hit the button below to get in touch. Making this switch could lead to significant changes in how people and other businesses see each other. Bioplastics are generally compostable, which means they will decay into natural materials that will eventually blend harmlessly into the soil. Since many of the reports cited in research involves industry-produced data, we must have access to more independent studies to understand if the advantages and disadvantages of biodegradable plastics are moving in the right direction. With scarcity issues and hunger affecting about 1 in 5 families in the developed world and significantly more in developing nations, there is an ethics question to consider when attempting to expand this industry. The polyethylene created through the manufacturing cycle using natural items may contain high levels of manganese, which can stop breaking down when you begin the composting process for these items. Unless we can eliminate chemicals from the entire manufacturing chain, there will always be a risk of pollution to consider with biodegradables. Phthalates soften the plastic to turn it into PVC. Biodegradable plastics reduce the amount of waste we produce. We might be using natural products to create biodegradable plastics, but that doesn’t mean we are eliminating our exposure to chemicals through this manufacturing process. The primary benefit and advantage in using bioplastics is their capability to improve the environmental impact of a product. Bioplastics are cheaper than normal plastics especially with the soaring oil … Bible Commentary Bible Verses Devotionals Faith Prayers Coloring Pages Pros and Cons, 22 Should Juveniles Be Tried as Adults Pros and Cons, 6 Powerful Prayers for a Safe School Year, 50 Compelling Bible Scriptures on Direction, Proverbs 11:14 Meaning of Lack of Guidance, Matthew 6:26 Meaning of Look at the Birds of the Air, 10 Powerful Prayers for Someone Who Has Hurt You, Wealth of the Wicked Meaning and Meditation, Matthew 5:32 Meaning of Makes Her the Victim of Adultery, Matthew 24:15 Meaning of the Abomination That Causes Desolation, Matthew 10:36 Meaning of Verse and Simple Commentary. Bio-based plastics are made from renewable sources instead of oil and that way gradually substitute fossil resources used to produce plastics with renewable resources (currently predominantly annual crops, such as corn and sugar … We would use the solid forms for bags, water bottles, and food containers. Title: Advantages of Bioplastics and Global Sustainability Author: istic Created Date: 2/13/2014 4:34:30 PM 4. 5. This was a very general introduction. This is the official blog of Biodegradable plastics do not release other dangerous items upon decomposition. Because some biodegradable plastics produce methane when decomposing in landfills, it is possible that some of these natural plastic items could be creating a more harmful effect on the environment than if we stuck to the traditional manufacturing cycle. If we throw out these plastics in the landfill last we would the traditional items, then they will follow a path that is similar to the non-biodegradable option. Although the plastics in the items we use might be biodegradable when we use these technologies, some items (especially plastic bags) might release metals during the decomposition process. These prices are coming down as our technologies improve and source material access becomes cheaper to produce. Biodegradable plastics could create new export industries. Biodegradable plastics offer a substance that is made from a natural source, so the risks of breaking down are much fewer.
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