Bio-plastics continue to be endorsed by organisations as a potential solution to the problem of plastic pollution, but in our opinion, they are not a viable alternative and is likely to cause more troubles than good. Bio-plastics are made from plants or other biological sources, rather than being petroleum-based, and are often marketed as being biodegradable, environmentally friendly and sustainable. They really aren’t; and that is why, at Hybrid Hippie, we refuse to craft products or packaging which contain even traces of plant-based plastics.
While bio-plastics may indeed be less harmful to the environment than traditional plastics due to the fact that they are plant-based and not petroleum-based like conventional plastic, they still come with their own set of problems. Bioplastics can take a pretty long time to break down and may not completely degrade depending on the conditions they are exposed to.
With brands touting bio-plastics’ ability to degrade when composted, the truth is this only works in a highly controlled industrial compost facility under the right temperature conditions. Most waste management facilities in countries including the UAE, do not have such infrastructure in the present day. Additionally, the production of bio-plastics requires large amounts of land and resources that could be otherwise used for food production.
What are bio-plastics and how are they made?
Bio-plastics are plastics that are made from renewable, natural resources. Unlike regular plastics, which are derived from fossil fuels, bio-plastics are typically made from plant materials such as corn starch or cellulose. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, bio-plastics also have the potential to be compostable or biodegradable. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the environmental impact of plastic pollution, bio-plastics are becoming an increasingly popular alternative. While conventional plastics can take centuries to break down, bio-plastics can often be decomposed in a matter of months. In addition, bio-plastics generally have a lower carbon footprint than regular plastics.
The upside of bio-plastics
There are a few benefits to using bio-plastics. For one, they help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. They also emit fewer greenhouse gases during production, making them a tad bit better for the environment.
While bio-plastics are not perfect, they offer a more sustainable option than traditional plastics. As we continue to search for ways to reduce our impact on the environment, bio-plastics will likely play an important role.
Why bio-plastics are not the solution to our plastic pollution problem
It’s no secret that plastic pollution is a major problem. Every year, millions of tons of plastic end up in our oceans, where it harms marine life and pollutes the water. In an effort to reduce this pollution, many companies have turned to bio-plastics. These are plastics made from renewable materials like cornstarch or vegetable oil. However, bio-plastics are not the solution to our plastic pollution problem. For one thing, they take just as long to decompose as traditional plastics.
Most importantly, not all bio-plastics are bio-degradable or even compostable. For instance, “Biopolymers”. While “biopolymers” are derived from either plants or microbes, they can only decompose when exposed to extremely high heat which is typically only available at an industrial composting facility. They cannot even simply be placed in your standard recycling bin, as it is likely to contaminate the complete lot of traditional plastics at the recycling facility. If that were to happen, it is highly likely that the entire recycling lot will be sent to a landfill.
This means that they will still end up in our oceans, where they will do just as much damage if not more. Furthermore, producing bio-plastics requires large amounts of land and water. This puts even more strain on our environment. So while bio-plastics may be a step in the right direction, they are not the answer to our plastic pollution problem.
How we can reduce our reliance on plastics
We are all too familiar with the damaging effects of plastic pollution. Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, where it threatens marine life and pollutes the water. Plastic also takes centuries to break down, meaning that the pollution it causes is virtually irreversible. In light of these facts, it’s clear that we need to find ways to reduce our reliance on plastics.
One way to do this is to choose reusable products instead of disposable ones. Reusable water bottles, shopping bags, and coffee cups are all easy ways to cut down on plastic waste. You can also avoid single-use plastics by packing your own snacks and bringing reusable containers for leftovers when you go out to eat. Lastly, remember to recycle! Recycling plastics helps to reduce pollution and conserve resources. By making small changes in our daily lives, we can help to protect our planet from the devastating effects of plastic pollution.
Alternatives to bio-plastics that we can use instead
The term “bio-plastics” refers to a variety of plastics made from renewable resources, such as corn starch or cellulose. These plastics are made from renewable plant-based resources, making them an attractive alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics. However, bio-plastics still have a number of environmental drawbacks. First, they require large amounts of land and water to produce. Second, many bio-plastics are made from genetically modified crops, which can have negative impacts on biodiversity. Finally, some bio-plastics release methane gas as they decompose, which is a powerful greenhouse gas.
Though they are often marketed as such, bio-plastics are not the solution to our growing plastic pollution problem. They come with a host of environmental concerns of their own, and only serve to perpetuate our reliance on plastics. If we truly want to reduce our impact on the environment, we need to find alternatives to all forms of plastic, biodegradable or not. There are many sustainable materials that can be used in place of plastic, so there’s no excuse not to make the switch. Let’s start ditching those disposable coffee cups and straws and opt for a more sustainable future.