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FIg 1 Biobsed plas

Biodegradable Plastics

"It has the ability to break down completely into substances found in nature in a reasonable time frame" 

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Biodegradable plastics are plastics that can be decomposed by the action of living organisms, usually microbes, into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass.  They be made from biological resources or fossil raw materials and are designed to be degraded by microorganisms under specific conditions [PA, 2020].


Biodegradable plastics biodegrade in certain conditions at their end of life.  Compostable plastics (a subset of biodegradable ones) typically decompose in industrial composting facilities, and first need to be collected. Biodegradable and compostable plastics may be made from biological resources or fossil raw materials.


Biodegradable plastics means the plastics, produced based on plant materials or microorganisms, can be degraded by microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, and converted to CO2, methane, or microbial biomass under aerobic or anaerobic conditions.  Some of them available in the market are starch-based plastics, bacteria-based plastics, soy-based plastics, cellulose-based plastics, lignin-based plastics and natural fibers reinforcement plastic [SL, 2022]Figure 1 shows the production capacity of bio-based plastic in 2018 and the percentage of not-biodegradable and degradable plastics (2018).

Figure 1: Bio-based Plastics

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