Combine this with the fact that bioplastics can be done anywhere in the world and you have a tangible, feasible and sustainable effort that companies are latching on to. SURFS UP AND SO IS PLASTIC WASTE. Plastic waste takes years to decompose and pollutes the environment. If you produce a non biodegradable bioplastic using a lot of energy in the manufacturing process, much more than a traditional hydrocarbon-based plastic, then the answer’s probably no. Peter Gogolek: Conventional plastics are derived from a hydrocarbon source such as natural gas or petroleum. Joël Houle: Are bioplastics better than regular plastics? Nevertheless, plastics are an indispensable part of everyday life. Listen to this episode on Google Podcasts, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Challenges, Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities. Jean-François Levasseur: It’s an interesting question. Viable alternatives to conventional plastic are now more widely available and becoming increasingly popular as consumers, organisations, and governments call for change. And so, that’s really what drives the impetus of our investments into R & D, of which obviously plastics are going to come into play. But polyethylene terephthalate, PET, that’s for single-use plastic bottles. It is therefore all the more important to find a meaningful alternative that is sustainable, environmentally friendly and has better properties and more functionality than conventional plastics. Now, though, parents face an embarrassment of riches, and it can be challenging to sort through companies’ claims to determine which business offers the best product. Substantially reducing those emissions will never happen without reducing fossil fuel production, says Michael Lazarus, a lead author of “. View Larger Image; Biodegradable plastics have been around since the late 1980s. As nouns the difference between plastic and bioplastic is that plastic is (obsolete) a sculptor, moulder while bioplastic is any form of synthetic polymer, similar to normal plastic, made from a renewable plant source rather than from petroleum. Bioplastic vs Recycled Plastic . Peter Gogolek: Plastics are not a new or even human invention. Today, plastics cover just about any material consisting of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable and can be moulded into solid objects. The world’s first synthetic, fully synthetic plastic was something called bakelite. The spruce budworm is the most serious pest affecting forests in eastern North America. Hemp plastics are 4 times stronger than polypropylene, as well as being lighter. According to National Geographic, “Carbon emissions from fossil fuel use totalled 37.1 billion tonnes in 2018, a new record. Jean-François Levasseur: I’m doing very well today, Joël. Our experts will do their best to answer all relevant questions. Today, an outbreak is under way in Quebec, and budworm populations are on the rise in New Brunswick. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. The versatility of hemp bioplastics means that they can be used for bottles, bags, furniture, boats, and electronics amongst a variety of other uses. In order to accurately assess the use case for bioplastics, we must understand the environmental profile of the material from resource to end-of-life and whether it fits into a circular economy cradle-to-cradle model. A different type of bioplastic (made from living things, rather than petroleum) is referred to as PHA PHA is a unique polyester made naturally by certain bacteria. Jean-François Levasseur: Well, the Canadian Forest Service has been long-time involved in programs that really target providing strategic support to R & D, and to help implement our bioproducts agenda. Managing forest fires is all about balancing the good and the bad. So why are we still making packaging from conventional plastic derived from finite fossil resources that are a significant contributor to climate change? Our packaging is both made from a bio-based material called Polylactic Acid (PLA), which is derived mainly from corn and is biodegradable through the industrial composting process. Also, if you are interested in learning more about the scientific work that we do here at Natural Resources Canada, check out our online magazine called Simply Science. Our second guest on today’s episode is Jean-François Levasseur, Director of Industry, Innovation and Indigenous Programs Division at the Canadian Forest Service. Peter Gogolek: Yes, for many years, NRCan has been involved in plastics research, looking at trying to develop new ways of recovering energy from plastics and that’s where I’ve been working. Manufacturing: Plastic manufacturing facilities and plastic additive processing facilities, which can produce some significantly harmful chemicals including phthalates and brominated flame retardants. Packaging Material: Bioplastic vs plastic. The impact the fossil fuel industry has on climate change is now widely accepted. Joël Houle: I guess before we can understand what bioplastics are we kind of need to first understand what are plastics.Â. 100 percent plant-based ‘edible’ plastic: Melbourne based bio-plastic manufacturer Plantic has come up with a remarkable and rather convenient conception in the form of fully plant based bio-plastics, which can easily degrade in water in just about 20 seconds! Not all bioplastics are biodegradable and some petroleum based polymers are biodegradable. Bioplastics manufacturers insist that the threat is overblown and that recycling remains a better option than composting for PLAs such as corn plastic, since it makes up such a small percent of the current … Common plastics, such as fossil-fuel plastics (also called petrobased polymers) are derived from petroleum or natural gas. Bioplastics are plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, recycled food waste, etc. They host a challenge website and our NRCan challenge around bioplastics is going to be posted there imminently. As of 2014, bioplastics represented approximately 0.2% of the global polymer market (300 million tons).[6. Jean-François Levasseur: Our agenda for the forest sector is a little bit larger than just bioplastics, so it involves all forest bioeconomy elements, but a good example we do have is in Quebec City. Joël Houle: Are bioplastics and biodegradable plastics the same thing? Bioplastic resins and composites have been formulated to work in equipment that has been used for decades to produce plastic parts. Plus, bioplastics aren’t usually 100% … And lastly, where we came into play with the CFS funding is through NRC in Boucherville, l’Institut des matériaux. Are bioplastics truly better than petroleum based plastics? Therefore, any plastic whether bio or nonbio is basically still plastic, and plastic is neither degradable, nor compostable. The use of plants makes bioplastic a … Extraction is causing severe health and environmental damages. They comprise of a whole family of materials with different properties and applications. This certification certifies that the plastic and all other components of the product are commercially compostable (colours, labels, glues and – in case of packaging products – residues of the content). They’ve been working with those two actors to advance that really innovative application that’s attracting a lot of attention is at the stage of relatively advanced towards commercialization.Â. Substantially reducing those emissions will never happen without reducing fossil fuel production, says Michael Lazarus, a lead author of “The Production Gap Report” and the director of Stockholm Environment Institute’s U.S. Center.”. Materials: Renewable, circular, carbon sequestration while the plants are growing. In this article, we explore the research surrounding the benefits of PLA bioplastics compared to conventional plastics in the context of foodservice packaging. Joël Houle: Perfect, thank you so much Jean-François for taking the time to come and talk to us today. The first man-made plastic, introduced in 1862, was a bioplastic, meaning it was made from a renewable resource. For example, a bioplastic called polylactic acid – this is the film for straw bails in agriculture – is made from plant feedstocks and is considered biodegradable in commercial composting facilities. Materials: Finite resource. Biobased plastics have a unique advantage over conventional petroleum-based plastic in the sense that the composition is made fully, or in part, from plants or other biological matter. End of life: If contaminated with food: landfill or incineration. 2. And even if they are, should we be using food sources to make materials? We know that there are other pathways, particularly towards PHB and polylactic acid, PLA, mainly out of the agricultural sector but some Canadian pulp and paper companies and forestry companies are working with global researchers to try to advance those families of compounds. “The argument [for bio-based plastics] is the inherent value of reducing the carbon footprint,” says chemical engineer Ramani Narayan from … Peter, how are you? Infographic showing how long various types of plastic persist in the environment. : Composting by industrial compost facilities. Are plant-based bioplastics really better for the environment? If you have any follow-up questions for Peter and Jean-François, get on Twitter and tweet at us using the hashtag “#AskNRCan”. Cellulose acetate is another type of plant-based plastic. bioplastic: A bioplastic is a substance made from organic biomass sources, unlike conventional plastics which are made from petroleum. Joël Houle: Awesome! Bioplastics are usually derived from sugar derivatives, including starch, cellulose, and lactic acid. Peter Gogolek: Unfortunately, that’s not an easy question to answer. Based on this, bioplastics can be broken down into three distinct classifications: This experiment focused on bioplastic samples retrieved from a frozen yoghurt shop in Chile and its rate of biodegradability under different conditions by varying the temperature, pH and environment. I think we will continue to see interesting discoveries and developments from my colleagues at NRCan over the next few years, so stay tuned. Peter Gogolek: Many people will assume, and this is not totally correct, that if something is derived from biomass, then it is biodegradable. : Organic recycling: the loop is closed by producing a new resource (compost) that can be used to grow more plants. Natureworks claims that manufacturing Ingeo produces approximately 80% less greenhouse gases and uses approximately 52% less non-renewable energy (NREU) than traditional polymers like polystyrene. Peter Gogolek: My main work with plastics is trying to find energy uses for them, transforming them into a useful product that way. Bioplastic is an umbrella term used for plastics that are biobased, biodegradable or both. The environmental advantages of PLA plastics over those plastics derived from petroleum are measurable and significant. This is one of the reasons why so much emphasis is being placed on trying to identify novel ways to re-use, recycle them, or even to develop new plastics derived from plants that can be easily biodegradable in the environment. Bioplastics are manufactured from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable oils, straw, corn starch, wood, that sort of thing.Â. Listen to find out. What are we, as Natural Resources Canada and the Government of Canada, doing to encourage more bioplastics projects? About Bioplastics Bioplastics are not just one single material. In fact, between 2019 to 2024, its production capacity is expected to grow by 15% from around 2.1 million tonnes to 2.4 million+, so the demand is clear. Bioplastics are plastics made from organic materials such as corn starch, and often made up of polylactic acid (PLA). Without a doubt, bioplastics are garnering a ton of attention these days. Speaking of oil: bio-based plastics require little or no crude oil, which is a limited resource. Canada has the world’s largest stock of standing western redcedar, but this once-dominant species is showing disturbing signs of distress. If a bioplastic enters the landfill, it can take 10 to 1,000 years to break down. The short lifespan and minimal touch of ecommerce packaging likely makes this less of an issue, but there is no specific, though there is admittedly no clear and focused research on … Bioplastic is a biodegradable material that come from renewable sources and can be used to reduce the problem of plastic waste that is suffocating the planet and polluting the environment. Scientists at the Pacific Forestry Centre are trying to get to the root of the problem. The global plastic industry today is considering alternatives, especially the use of more sustainable materials like bioplastic which is a plant-based alternative made from renewable materials like starch from corn, potato, soy protein, cellulose and lactic acid. Bioplastics are also relatively expensive; PLA can … I think that’s it for us today. plastic’ and ‘bioplastic’ films provides us with a uniquely balanced view of Plastics and Bioplastics… Production facilities in Europe, US & Asia Pacific regions Headquarters in … Can you start by explaining to us what the Canadian Forest Service is doing to support innovation in the forest industry? The bioplastic industry is already growing steadily. We have tons of great content for you, including articles, videos, and previous episodes of this podcast series. 4 Comments on Plastic vs Bioplastic At the Co-op , we’re having a fascinating debate on whether to use plastic for packaging dry goods we supply, such as rice and quinoa, or bioplastic. You will not receive a reply. In most cases, it behaves the same as regular plastic. Bioplastics such as PLA offer a more sustainable solution to conventional plastics and are particularly valuable for foodservice packaging where compostability is a key functional requirement for end-of-life. The bioplastic is controversial, as there are no bioplastic sources that we know of that are guaranteed to be free of GMO’s. But there's a huge difference between a "biodegradable" plastic (one that might take decades or centuries to break down) and a truly "compostable" material (something that turns almost entirely into benign waste after a matter of months in a composter), while "bioplastic," as we've already seen, can also mean different things. It is also hard to guarantee food contact safety of recycled content.
2020 bioplastic vs plastic