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Bioplastics, Biodegradation and Bio-based plastics

Bioplastics, Biodegradation and Bio-based plastics2020.11.24

Plastics comprise a large family of materials which can be classified into various types.

What are bioplastics?

According to European Bioplastics definition, bioplastics – plastics that are bio-based, biodegradable, or both – have the same or similar properties as conventional plastics but offer additional benefits, such as a reduced carbon footprint, better functionalities, or additional waste management options, such as organic recycling.


Biodegradation is a chemical process during which microorganisms that are available in the environment convert materials into natural substances such as water, carbon dioxide, and compost (artificial additives are not needed). 


Bio-based and non-biodegradable plastics are such as bio-based polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), bio-based technical performance polymers, such as numerous polyamides (PA) or polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT); Bio-based and biodegradable plastics, such as polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), polybutylene succinate (PBS), and starch blends;


Plastics that are based on fossil resources and biodegradable, such as polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT), but that may well be produced at least partly bio-based in the future.

Source: European Bioplastics


What applications make use of bioplastics?

Bioplastics offer a broad range of functionalities optimised for each type of application. They can be processed into a vast array of products using conventional plastics processing technologies. Bioplastics can be found in the following market segments: Packaging, Food-services, Agriculture/horticulture, Consumer electronics, Automotive, Consumer goods and household appliances.

Source: European Bioplastics


Packing remains the largest field of application for bioplastics.

Many different bioplastics are used for flexible packaging solutions. Biodegradability is a feature often sought when it comes to food packaging products for perishables. Biodegradable food packaging certified as industrially compostable was the first successfully commercialised bioplastic product. Films and trays are particularly suitable for fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables as they enable longer shelf life. In addition, confectionary, such as chocolate and biscuits, or dry food, such as tea or muesli, are now increasingly being packaged with bioplastics. 

Rigid bioplastics applications are available for cosmetics packaging of compact powders, creams and lipsticks, as well as beverage bottles. Materials such as PLA, bio-PE, or bio-PET are used in this section.

Process and typical applic ations for bioplastics in packaging as follows:

Source: European Bioplastics


More bioplastics products please view here.

OKCHEM PLA, PBAT and PBS Distribution Project

OKCHEM is the strategic partner of Anhui BBCA (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 You may also make the application online at:

Related articles:

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

Our Partner Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe is leading globally in the production of degradable materials

Our Partner Anhui BBCA Kicked off the 2nd Phase Production for its 300 kt/a PLA Project

2. About product background introductions

What Does Biodegradable Mean?

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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

3. About market analysis and new development

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
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

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