The environmental cost of bioplastics


In News13 July, 2020

At CMSA we have been wondering for some time why everyone considers bioplastics the solution to the problem of plastics. From our point of view, bioplastics are just another alternative solution that is not entirely efficient and respectful of the planet. Let’s find out a bit more about green plastics, where they come from, what they consist of and what they contribute to the ecosystem.

Bioplastics, or biodegradable plastics, have similar characteristics to plastics in that they are made from petroleum. Among all their qualities, we can highlight that they are made with renewable materials and that they are biodegradable. We should not confuse terms since renewable does not mean sustainable. These bioplastics are not sustainable because they have a serious environmental cost and depend on crops, so they need fertile soil and water, quite limited natural resources. This means that this type of bioplastics can interfere in the food chain.

The environmental cost of bioplastics

Some bioplastics depend on crops, so they need fertile soil and fresh water, these resources are environmentally very limited and cannot be used lightly. That is why green plastics are not a sustainable alternative to plastic, much less a solution for the health of the Earth.

There are quite a few lines of research that are trying to find alternatives for creating bioplastics in a more sustainable way, such as transforming plants, plant-based by-products, algae and other vegetables into sustainable bioplastics. Not all will come to fruition and only a few have turned out to be economically viable. Time will tell if bioplastics end up being the definitive solution.

This type of bioplastics or green plastics is not good for the planet. In the end, they pose the same problems that traditional plastics present, caused by the misuse of recycling, and they also pose the problem of meddling and hindering the food chain.

At CMSA we do not agree with the way in which biodegradable plastics are manufactured and how this affects the food industry, crops and natural resources. We firmly believe that other alternatives must be found that allow finding alternatives to traditional plastic but that is truly sustainable. We must give voice and credibility to alternative research that is working to find sustainable ways for plastic and bioplastics.