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Environmentally Degradable Polymeric Materials (EDPM) i.e. Biodegradable Plastic

Posted by: Arindam Samanta

Campaign: How can we eliminate the need for plastic?

Owing to their low production cost, good physical properties and lightweight, plastic objects have slowly substituted glass, paper and metals in several fields of application. At the same time, the current huge global production of plastics has generated enormous environmental concerns, mainly related to the waste generation by plastic packaging, which are responsible for 35-40% share of annual plastics consumption. Where recovery of plastics is not economically feasible, viable, controllable or attractive, plastics often remain as litter. Currently, any systematic collection of plastic waste for recycling and/or disposal is rather expensive and limited only to certain communities. Moreover, when plastics are contaminated with soil, foods or other chemicals their recycling is rather difficult and for this reason only 3-5% of the plastic waste is nowadays recycled in the United States. The plastic pollution problem can be solved by Biodegradable Plastic. The market for biodegradable polymers is at this moment focusing on products in which biodegradability provides beneficial effects (e.g. waste-disposal, recycling) and a number of biodegradable materials are already being marketed or are close to market introduction and customer acceptance. Different biodegradable polymers e.g. PBAT poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate), PHB poly(hydroxylbutyrate), PCL poly(e-caprolactone) are available which can be used as packing of Industrial as well as Domestic Packing Applications. For example, polylactic acid, poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid, and poly(caprolactone), all of which are biodegradable, have been used to carry anti-cancer drugs in many countries in the world. We have to promote more and more use Biodegradable Plastic to reduce the Plastic Pollution.

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