What is the Need for Biodegradable Plastics?
Traditional plastics are made with petroleum resources and chemical additives which emit harmful substances at the time of degradation, leading to environmental deterioration. Therefore, biodegradable plastics are being widely used as an ideal substitute in various businesses due to its efficiency and sustainability.
Plastics are one of the most widely used materials which are imperative for daily usage in food containers, food packaging, furniture, bottles, electronics, wearables, vehicle parts, and so on. Due to the durability and efficiency of plastic, businesses would have had a difficult time if all plastics were exempted from use. But they are exceedingly hazardous to our environment leading to landfill and contamination of water which further leads to the large-scale disruption of aquatic life. Therefore, biodegradable plastics are used in day-to-day activities and in manufacturing, production, and packaging purposes due to their natural decomposition in the environment without causing a great deal of environmental pollution. According to a report published by Research Dive, the global biodegradable plastics market is projected to garner $8,940.5 million within 2021-2028 timeframe, growing at a CAGR of 9.5%.
What are Biodegradable Plastics?
Biodegradable plastics are plastics that are easily degraded or decomposed with the help of micro-organisms under appropriate conditions of air, temperature and sunlight. Biodegradation is the process of breaking down of particles into water, carbon dioxide and biomass through the micro-organisms like fungi and bacteria.
What are Biodegradable Plastics Made Of?
There are two types of biodegradable plastics, namely oxo-biodegradable plastics and hydro-biodegradable plastic. Oxo-biodegradable plastics are conventional plastics which are made by adding a minute quantity of fatty acid of certain transition metals in order to help them degrade quickly and efficiently. Whereas, hydro-biodegradable plastics are made from plant-based sources like corn, wheat, starch and so on. The degradation process in such plastic is much quicker than oxo-biodegradable plastics. Most of the biodegradable plastics are made from renewable raw materials such as vegetable oils, sugar, microorganisms, vegetable and fruit peelings, and so on. Hence, all biodegradable plastics are so made that they are vulnerable to the breakdown caused by temperature, sunlight, wind, soil, moisture, enzymes and so on.
Why Do We Need Biodegradable Plastics?
Biodegradable plastics can be made with the help of a number of plant items like starch, corn oil, peels of fruits and vegetables, etc. which makes it a natural source for making these biodegradable plastics. The use of other chemical additives which were used in traditional plastics are completely exempted in case of biodegradable plastics. Therefore, biodegradable plastics reduce the overall emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They do not release any harmful components in the atmosphere like methane which is a common gas released in the decomposition of the traditional plastics.
Biodegradable plastic is economical and efficient in the long run. The adoption of biodegradable plastic is imperative for the companies in the new era, since it is often considered as a marketing tool which is capable of affecting the consumer behavior. People incline towards companies that are concerned about the environmental wastes and problems, and hence prefer to choose their products. This attitude among consumers made it mandatory for companies to adopt biodegradable plastics in their products. Moreover, it is a win-win for both, the companies and the environment. The companies get to enjoy their increased profits due to the adoption of biodegradable plastics and the environment is also liberated from voluminous contamination.
The Bottom Line
Due to the ever-increasing population, more and more products from multiple industries will be manufactured to cater the needs and demands of the people which will lead to a large-scale contamination of land, water and air. Thus, the adoption of eco-friendly products in all sectors are on the run, leading to the growth of biodegradable plastic. It has created a sustainable packaging and lifestyle among people, business, and the environment which has substantially driven the market size of biodegradable plastic.