Types of bioplastics
Bioplastics are not one single substance—rather, they are a family of products each with differing properties and applications depending on their base materials and manufacture.
Currently, the bioplastic family can be divided into three main groups:
Group 1: Plastics that are both bio-based and biodegradable: polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxalkanoate (PHA)
Group 2: Bio-based or partly bio-based non-biodegradable plastics, known as ‘drop-ins’: bio-polyethylene (PE), bio-polypropylene (PP) and bio-polyethylene terephalate (PET)
Group 3: Plastics that are based on fossil fuel resources and are biodegradable: polybutyrate (PBAT) and polycaprolactone (PCL)
Environmental pros and cons of bioplastics
There are two sides to every story, and bioplastics are no different. They have great potential and many positive attributes, yet these are countered by an almost equal number of drawbacks. Both sides of the equation need to be considered closely when considering the environmental impact of bioplastics in our society.
- They reduce the use of fossil-fuels and reliance on non-renewable resources.
- Manufacturing process can use up to 65 per cent less energy and generates fewer greenhouse gases than conventional plastic.
- Some are biodegradable and/or compostable.
- Some can be recycled alongside conventional plastics.
- Some are non-toxic and safe for medical and internal use.
- They have a higher manufacturing cost—though this is changing as more companies begin to make bioplastics.
- Composting may be possible only in industrial composting processes.
- Not all are recyclable.
- Some can interfere with or damage standard plastic recycling processes.
- Not all are biodegradable.
- If sent to landfill, some can release methane—a potent greenhouse gas—into the atmosphere.
- They’re not suitable for use in a number of products.
- Use of plant sugar and starch sources could have a negative impact on food prices.
- Bioplastics do nothing to change consumer behaviour regarding their use of plastic products.
OKCHEM PLA, PBAT and PBS Distribution Project
OKCHEM is the strategic partner of Anhui BBCA (expected to be the largest PLA producer in China) and Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe (the largest PBAT producer in China) to look for buyers and partners globally. If you want to join us in this project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also make the application online at: https://www.okchem.com/agent/detail/degradableplastics/oem
1. About our distribution project and our partners
OKCHEM Chemicals Distribution Product List and FAQ
PLA, PBAT and PBS included in OKCHEM Distribution Project
FAQs for biodegradable plastic materials
Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe is leading globally in the production of degradable materials
Anhui BBCA Kicked off the 2nd Phase Production for its 300 kt/a PLA Project
2. About product background introductions
Bioplastics, Biodegradation and Bio-based plastics
Comparison of biodegradable materials PLA, PBAT, PHA and PBS
Is PLA biodegradable unconditionally?
Biodegradable plastics — Polylactic acid (PLA)
What’s the Difference: Biodegradable and Compostable?
Harmonised standards for bioplastics products in EU
Certificates: reliable proof of biodegradability by independent institutes
PLA or PBAT, which will be more popular in the future market?
3. About market analysis and new development
PBAT raw materials: BDO under insufficient capacity and price increase by 50%; PTA and AA with overcapacity
Anhui Ruihong New Material Kicked off the construction of project with 25 kt/a of PVA, PLA, PBAT and PBS
China’s Kanghui Petrochemical kicked off its production of 33 kt/a PBAT/PBS on December 25
China's Hengli Petrochemical Officially Signed Production Project of 600 kt/a PBS on Jan 19, 2021
China’s Hengli Petrochemical adds another 300kt/a PBS on Feb 1, 2021, expecting a total capacity of 933kt/a PBS
New development in PLA: Durable new PLA cup can hold boiling liquids around 140 °F (60 °C)
ECP recently introduced as promising biobased compatibilizing agent for PLA/PBAT blends
Brief Highlights of PBAT and Its production in China
The state of the bioplastics market updated by European Bioplastics (EUBP)
Biodegradable product tradeshows: 2021 China International Biodegradation & Plastic Products Exhibition
Analysis of Chinese export on PBAT and PBS from 201901 to 202011
Production capacity of PLA in China expected to reach 3.3 million tons in the coming 5 years