18. March 2019 | Packaging materials & packs

Are bio-plastics a savior?

Plastic materials are the most hottest topic at the moment, whether because of the waste discussion or the increasing attempts to reduce them as packaging. Nevertheless, bio-based and biodegradable plastics are still underestimated in the current discussion.

The Germany-based FKuR Group (Research Institute for Plastics and Recycling) emphasizes the excellent suitability of biobased thermoplastics for conventional material recycling, while it sees biodegradable plastics as an efficient and proven solution for those applications where this property generates added value for the end product.

Disposal solved

According tot he group, bio-plastics are having two proven inherent ways of reducing environmental pollution: While bio-based plastics are suitable for material recycling, biodegradable plastics are designed for organic recycling.

Contrary to concerns that bioplastics may not be machine-sortable, the resource-saving material recycling established for conventional (oil-based) plastics can also be used without restriction for biobased alternatives such as Bio-PE or Bio-PET, which are often used as direct drop-in products. Biodegradable plastics that comply with the standard for industrial compostability (e.g. EN 13432) could be recycled organically.

Organisches Recycling von biologisch abbaubaren Kunststoffen
Organic recycling of biodegradable plastics
Source: FKuR
Stoffliche Wiederverwertung von biobasierten Kunststoffen
Material recycling of biobased plastics
Source: FKuR

edited by Thobias Quaß

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