Bioplastics for nappies and foods

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Publication Date 11/10/2006
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How can plastics be made more environmentally friendly? There is increasing interest in the use of biodegradable plastics for use in packaging.

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The common understanding is that bioplastics are made up of renewable resources, are completely biodegradable, and conform to the European standard that ensures biodegradability and compostability. The EU’s packaging and packaging waste directive says that after three months of composting, only 10% of the packaging waste should remain.

Biodegradable or compostable plastic is different from degradable plastic, which is a conventional plastic with an additive that helps it break down over a very long period of time, generally two years. There are three different bio-based plastics on the market today: starch materials (such as corn), polylactic acid and cellulose-based materials. There are different certified logos for compostable packaging; the logo most frequently used is an apple.

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