There is no question that plastic products offer many short-term advantages to consumers around the world – their low cost, functionality, durability and light weight all provide benefits for an incredible range of everyday products. But they come at a heavy environmental price.
According to industry analysts, every hour Americans dispose of two and a half million plastic bottles. The global plastic consumption is nearing 100 million tons per year. So, it has now become a pressing issue to use an alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastic, one which can be produced from renewable resources. That alternative is bioplastic and it can be safely and effectively put to use NOW.
In fact, there are a number of popular consumer products being produced every day that, if converted to bioplastic, could make a significant positive impact on the environment in short order. What immediately comes to mind? How about those ubiquitous water bottles, disposable flatware, food packaging containers, coffee pods, and even seedling pots. These are just five products that could make a difference today if production was converted from traditional plastics to bioplastic – there are many others.
So what’s the big deal about bioplastic? Here are several major benefits that bioplastic products provide:
Compostable Bioplastics break down in less time
Compostable bioplastic packaging takes much less time to break down after being discarded. The decomposed raw materials get absorbed back into the earth where they can nourish growing plants.
Compostable Bioplastics are renewable
Compostable bioplastics made from biomass, which is a completely renewable resource. Raw materials such as corn, canola seeds and cane sugar are converted to plastic through a natural process that does not harm the environment.
Compostable Bioplastics are good for the environment
Compostable bioplastics are much better for the environment. Compostable bioplastic can decompose in as less than 3 months in commercial composting facilities, and can in a longer period of time in backyard composting. It’s made of natural renewable resources, not fossil fuels, which takes 500 years to decompose.
Compostable Bioplastics require less energy to produce
Compostable bioplastics need less than half the energy to produce than their non-biodegradable counterparts. By doing this with less energy, bioplastics reduce our overall carbon output.
Compostable Bioplastics are not toxic
Traditional plastics are full of harmful by-products and chemicals, which are released during their breakdown process. Compostable bioplastics are completely safe and do not have any chemicals or toxins. This plastic breaks down and gets absorbed into the earth. The amount of waste diverted from landfills through composting has quadrupled since 1990, according to the EPA.
Compostable Bioplastics reduce dependence on foreign oil
The use of compostable bioplastics will decrease our dependence on other countries for fossil fuels. Compostable bioplastics are created from domestic biomass materials, so it reduces the dependence on foreign oil, providing a domestic solution instead.
It’s no wonder compostable bioplastics are of considerable interest and importance to the modern world. To develop a product that not only meets the needs of manufacturers and consumers, but which actively reduces environmental pollution, is a key goal of researchers and scientists in this industry.
Big changes, however, start with small steps. If we can convert even a few of the most popular plastic products to bioplastics, think of the good that can grow from that.