The Bioplastics Movement
As the world becomes more concerned about the environment, we are starting to look at plastics in a different light. Our businesses and homes rely heavily on plastics, and it is no wonder, as it is the perfect material for almost every situation. That is why scientists are working so hard to find a way to make plastics more “Green”. One promising alternative is bioplastics.
First introduced in the 1980’s, the point of bioplastics was to reduce the amount of petrochemicals necessary to create plastics. In most cases, renewable sources like corn, tapioca, potatoes, sugar, cellulose, vegetable oils, wood, and algae replace chemicals to make the plastic resin. According to experts, bioplastics generate 68% fewer greenhouse gases than fossil fuel based plastics and it takes 65% less energy to produce them. It is important to delineate between bio-based plastics and biodegradable plastics. It is not a given that bioplastics are biodegradable, but they can be with proper processing and design. It is also the case that most recycling centers are still not set up to handle bioplastics.
Some popular uses for bioplastics are:
- Plastic bags
- Compostable waste collection bags
- Food packaging and containers
- Plates, bowls, cups, jars
- Construction materials (door and windows)
At Preferred Plastics, we are seeing an increase in the requests for bioplastics. Many of our construction customers are testing applications for bioplastics, yet it is still a small percentage of our business. Despite this, we understand that bioplastics hold potential in future business, and we are taking steps to stay ahead of the trend so our customers will always have the best selection possible. If you want to learn more about bioplastics, contact a plastic expert at Preferred Plastics today.