Why do we need Bioplastics
This material is made from bio-based, renewable materials like corn, sugarcane and cassava. This feedstock is more commonly referred to as biomass.
They have the capability to enable a reduced carbon footprint for the products as the bio-based plastics can be used for almost any application, from molded parts and fibers, to foam & film.
In scientific terms, the Biodegradable plastics are those that biodegrade in natural environments leaving behind biomass, CO2 and water. They are sometimes made from traditional fossil fuels (such as PBAT) though they can also be made from biomass (such as PLA). PLA meets the widely recognized ASTM D6400, EN13432 & ISO 17088:2012.
Poly Lactic Acids (PLA)
PLA can be and re-used for industrial as well as recycling and composting purposes. The life of the Poly Lactic Acid is based on a closed loop system as instead of simply reducing the negative impacts on the environment, PLA looks to create a positive impact by re-using or recycling the products.
In such a scenario, we have various reintegration options that are used to transform the PLA back into feedstock for a new product lifecycle. The rate at which consumers, brand owners and manufactures are using the current resources, PLA provides an avenue for efficiency and secures a return of a valuable material stream thus reducing the over all waste quotient.
Considering that our principle bioplastic – PLA – is not only made from renewable feedstock, but it also uses less non-renewable energy in production than oil based plastics like polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS), the overall emission of CO2 is reasonably lower in this case.
Eventually the debate hovers around how much land is used for bioplastic production. A simple solution according to the European Bioplastics Association in 2018, is that 0.02% of our planet's farmable land will be used for the production of bioplastics biomass: This on aggregate is the equivalent of a peanut next to the Empire State Building. It is quite a miniscule number considering the current state of the planet.
The average plastic bag that is provided at the grocery store, or to carry takeout’s in, has a lifespan of about 12 minutes from the time products are packed to the time it is discarded by the end user.
When discarded, it clogs the drainage, entangles and kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals every year, and degenerates into toxic micro plastics that linger in our oceans and landfills for up to 1,000 years.
Shoppers collectively use around 500 billion single-use plastic bags every year. That’s 150 bags per person, per year, for every single person on Earth — or enough to circle the globe 4,200 times.
Globally, as many as 160,000 plastic bags are used every second — and currently, only 1 to 3% of them are recycled.
According to The World Economic Forum study done on plastic pollution, if plastic pollution continues to rise then oceans will have more plastics than fish by 2050.
India's contribution to plastic waste that is dumped into the world's oceans every year is a massive 60%.
India generates around 56 lakh tonnes of plastic waste annually, where Delhi alone accounts for 9,600 metric tonnes per day.
To reduce the plastic menace, the National Green Tribunal suggested a ban on disposable plastic like cutlery, bags and other plastic items. However, no law has been in place to implement the same.
In India, different states have different policies regarding bans against single time used plastic. Few states have banned the use of single time used plastic in its entirety whereas some have imposed only partial ban on the single time used bags. In the states that have a partial ban, the manufacturers are allowed to make bags with thickness of more than 50 microns.
It costs lakhs of rupees each year to clean affected areas after exposure, not to mention the loss of life to plants, animals, and people.
As land becomes more valuable, just finding a place to dump the garbage is becoming a problem in many parts of the country.
In India, where an estimated 20 cows per day die from plastic ingestion, a partial ban has been in effect since 2002.
It is estimated that India will eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022.
This is one word that has been used extensively while we discuss anything related to the betterment of the environment. Here we have PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) that is both biobased and biodegradable. It can help reduce the overall carbon footprint and can be disposed of in various ways. So it is ideal to make the switch to PLA bioplastics.