Process to manufacture bioplastic material
Let's understand the process by taking an example of Polylactic acid (PLA), which is a bio-based and compostable polymer.
Processing bioplastic material
The bioplastic granules are converted into the end products as per requirements.
Mostly, it works with existing processing machines to convert the granules into plastic products.
The available bioplastic products in the market are listed below as per the different segments of applications. (Data from European Bioplastics e. V.)
agriculture & Horticulture
Textiles & Fibers
Source of the application images: European Bioplastic e. V.
What happens when discarded after the use?
After the degradation, it converts completely into water, CO2 and compost.
After discarding, there could be five possibilities as follows.
1. It goes to Industrial composting
Here it will be degraded completely in 180 days.
2. Goes with organic waste
Only some bioplastics can degrade as fast as organic waste for example PHA. Others take more time in a normal composting environment.
3. Goes to recycling
If it gets separated and recycled, it is comparatively easy and efficient to recycle it by polymerization followed by converting it into monomer.
4. Goes to Incinerator
It does not emit toxic fumes when incinerated. Moreover, it requires less energy to incinerate comparatively.
5. Just thrown on the street or anywhere
If it is just thrown away, the degradation depends on the temperature & humidity. It takes a much longer time to degrade completely from 2 years to 8 years depending on weather conditions. If it is bio-based & compostable plastic, the degradation rate could be compared with wood.