Comparison of various biodegradable plastics

Below is a more detailed comparison of various types of biodegradable plastics, including information

about their source, biodegradability, characteristics, and common applications:

Biodegradable Plastic TypeSourceBiodegradabilityCharacteristics and Common Applications
Polylactic Acid (PLA)Cornstarch or sugarcaneBiodegradable under industrial composting conditions, slower in natural environments– Transparent and rigid – Used in food packaging, disposable cutlery, food containers – May not be suitable for high-heat applications due to low melting point
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)Produced by microorganismsCompletely biodegradable in various environments– Versatile and adaptable – Used in biodegradable packaging, agricultural films, medical products – Can replace conventional plastics in various applications
Polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate (PBAT)Typically synthesized from petroleum-based materialsBiodegradable under industrial composting conditions– Flexible and durable – Blended with other biodegradable plastics for improved properties – Used in biodegradable packaging materials
Starch-Based Biodegradable PlasticsDerived from starch (e.g., corn or potatoes)Biodegradable under industrial composting conditions– Good moisture resistance – Used in disposable cutlery, bags, packaging materials – Generally more affordable than some other biodegradable plastics
PHA BlendsBlends of PHA and other biodegradable or traditional plasticsBiodegradability depends on the specific blend– Varied properties depending on the blend – Suitable for various applications combining different biodegradable plastic characteristics
Oxo-Biodegradable PlasticsTraditional plastics with additives promoting fragmentationFragments into smaller pieces, raising concerns about microplastics– Fragments when exposed to environmental stress – Used in bags and packaging materials in regions with legal requirements – Some controversy due to microplastic issues
biodegradable Future additiveorganic compounds used to treat synthetic polymerscomplete Biodegradability of polymer chain by microorganisms in specific environments
-Flexible, Durable, Versatile, adaptable, and used as biodegradable packaging material. It also has good moisture resistance.

Why Oxo-biodegradable plastic is awful and banned in the EU.

Oxo-biodegradable plastic is a type of plastic that has been treated with additives to accelerate the degradation process when exposed to environmental conditions, such as heat and light. However, the use and promotion of oxo-biodegradable plastic have been met with controversy and have led to its restriction in some regions, including the European Union. Here is a comparison chart highlighting some of the reasons why oxo-biodegradable plastic is considered problematic and banned in the EU:

AspectOxo-Biodegradable PlasticEU Ban and Concerns
DegradabilityClaimed to degrade into smaller fragmentsConcerns about incomplete degradation and microplastic pollution.
Environmental ImpactMay contribute to microplastic pollutionMicroplastics harm ecosystems and aquatic life.
Recycling CompatibilityInterferes with traditional recycling streamsDisrupts established recycling systems.
Regulatory ConcernsBanned in the EU for certain usesConcerns about false environmental claims and misleading consumers.
Lack of Proven BenefitsLimited scientific evidence of significant environmental benefitsScepticism regarding effectiveness.
Ambiguity in ClaimsMay mislead consumers into thinking it’s an eco-friendly solutionConcerns about greenwashing.
Alternatives AvailableEco-friendly alternatives like compostable plasticsSafer options exist for reducing plastic pollution.
Potential for Toxic ResiduesConcerns about the toxicity of degraded plastic residuesHealth and environmental risks.

It’s important to note that the EU has taken steps to restrict the use of oxo-biodegradable plastic because it may not deliver the environmental benefits it claims while posing potential risks to ecosystems and recycling systems. As a result, the use of oxo-biodegradable plastic is not recommended in the European Union.

Oxo-biodegradables are currently outlawed in most Western regions, including the EU and US, and critics accuse Western companies of continuing to peddle PAC plastics to profiteer from largely uninformed, undeveloped and vulnerable nations where legislation has yet to be enforced