Biopolymers Towards Green and Sustainable Development

Potential Application of Biopolymers as Biodegradable Plastic

Author(s): Sudarshan Singh* and Warangkana Chunglok * .

Pp: 139-152 (14)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815079302122010009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Today, on average, we produce yearly about 300 million tons of plastic waste, equivalent to the entire human population weight around the globe. The singleuse plastics and plastic products are produced using high molecular weight polymers in combination with additives that could not be completely reprocessed. So far, only 9% of overall plastic waste produced has been recycled and around 12% has been incinerated while the remaining 79% has been accumulated as debris in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Biodegradability and recycling of plastics depend on various physicochemical properties including molecular weight, hydrogen bonding, Van der Waals forces, and electrostatic forces. Moreover, biodegradability depends on macromolecular chain distresses that not only affect polymer aggregates but also affect the structural and functional properties of plastic products. However, due to unlimited production and utility with distressing effects on the environment, it is deemed necessary to replace such non-biodegradable polymers used in the fabrication of plastics with biodegradable polymers. The use of biodegradable polymers in the fabrication of plastic products is a creative way to resolve the plastic disposal problem. In this chapter, a brief overview has been presented on the fabrication of biodegradable plastic using biopolymers to reduce its detrimental effects on the environment.

Keywords: Bio-based polymer, Bioplastic, Plastic, Plastic-packaging, Thermoplastic.

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