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What are bio-based plastics?

Bio-based plastics are made using polymers derived from plant-based sources such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, recycled food waste, etc. bio-based plastics can be engineered to be biodegradable, and can function exactly like conventional fossil-based plastic.

What does biodegradable mean?

Biodegradable is a substance or object capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms.

Biodegradable plastics can be broken down into water, biomass, and gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane. Biodegradability depends on environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, microorganisms present, and oxygen. Biodegradable materials depend on the rate of its degradation in its environment – this depends upon both its chemical composition and where the material ends up.

What does compostable mean?

Compostable materials are capable of disintegrating into natural elements in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil.

What is biomass?

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Biomass is plant or animal material used for energy production, or in various industrial processes as raw material for a range of products.

The discussion around biodegradable plastics

Plastics can take many hundreds, or up to a thousand, years to biodegrade so we are pleased to offer alternatives which can break down into naturally occurring substances, across the course of months instead.  That said, the technology on biodegradable plastics is still in the early stages, with some commentators critiquing the controlled conditions under which plastics are certified biodegradable; as they will typically not break down in a domestic compost heap, or at sea.

While we acknowledge that not all waste disposal routes are conducive to biodegradable plastics, we believe that using biodegradable plastic is a step forward. As developments in the science around biodegradability advance, we will evolve with what’s available, staying in continuous improvement.

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