|Definition||Plastics made from plants or microorganisms.|
|Also Known As||Biobased Polymer|
|Related Concepts||MicroplasticsEnvironmental Issues|
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What is Bioplastic?
John Spacey, updated on June 24, 2016
Bioplastics are plastics made from plants or microorganisms. They are considered an alternative to petrochemical based plastics that potentially have less environmental impact by being biodegradable and less toxic. Not all bioplastics biodegrade and it is possible to make toxic materials from plants. The diversity of bioplastics currently on the market makes it difficult to make a blanket statement that they are better for the environment than plastics made with fossil fuel. For example, bioplastics could theoretically be carbon intensive. Bioplastics have the potential to be made from waste products such as inedible parts of plants. They can also be designed to biodegrade safely.
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