Look around you…it’s plastic everywhere!
These multi-use materials that perform multiple functions in our day-to-day living are comprised of many diverse properties that are primarily made of oil-based materials. By virtue of this chemical feature, most plastics do not contain oxygen which makes the breakdown of such materials by common bacteria and absorption by the environment a herculean task. When not properly disposed of, these materials end up in waterways as “marine plastic debris” which is now of grave concern to governments around the world. With estimates as high as 250 million tonnes of marine plastic debris by 2025, something has to be done.
The idea of bio-based material has been in the works for decades with organizations like the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York, in conjunction with the plastics industry, working to formulate a new spectrum of bio-based polyesters to replace their oil-based counterparts. This new generation of natural, bio-based materials is gaining traction because they are easily broken down into smaller chemical building blocks known as “platform molecules” that can be used to make other chemicals for plastics and fibres for films and even clothing!
The results?! Not only will the materials produced be totally plant-based and recyclable, they will also be fully biodegradable – which is a big plus to sustainability. The use of biomass as a resource ensures that a large amount of oxygen is naturally built into the chemical structures of the materials produced. Therefore, the higher the oxygen content in the base material, the higher the oxygen content and subsequent biodegradability of the plastics produced! With all this in play, even general plastic can be totally broken down into safer starting materials.
So next time you go to the store or market, go with personal reusable bags so your purchases are not packaged in numerous “oil-based, non-degradable” plastic bags.
Preserve our resources… maintain a recycling loop..
Source - https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/developmental-issues/plastic-made-from-plants-may-solve-waste-problem/articleshow/63119747.cms