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Clearing up the bioplastic confusion
Biodegradable plastics are the need of the hour. Bioplastics generate a lesser carbon footprint and help to form a lesser polluted ecosystem. Depending on the material and manufacturing process, bioplastics generate lower emissions of greenhouse gases. The problems of plastic-landfills and floating plastics in oceans can also be addressed through the increased use of bioplastics.
Compostable materials are those not only break down and assimilate in nature over a period of time, but also provide important nutrients to the soil.
Degradable: These are the bioplastics that are technically degradable but do not return to their natural state and remain in the environment as pollutants.
Biodegradable: These are the bioplastics that can be degraded within a few months.
Compostable: These are the bioplastics that can be broken down in nature by the action of microorganisms and get converted into nutrient-rich biomass in a few months.
• No consumption of non-renewable sources.
• Reduction of non-biodegradable waste.
Assuming continued high and maybe even politically supported growth in the bioplastics market, at the current stage of technological development, the expected use of land for bioplastics production is only around 1.7 million hectares which is 0.02% of the agricultural land.