What are bioplastics?
What are bioplastics?
There has been massive shift in awareness in the use against plastics, especially ‘single use’ ones, such as carrier bags over the past few years, with some cities even banning them altogether! Industrial entrepreneurs and innovators have responded to these concerns with a new product that seems like the perfect solution– bioplastic. It looks and feels like plastic, so what are they?
What are bioplastics made of?
Traditional plastic is a petroleum-derived product that is made from fossil fuels (non-renewable). In fact, 8 percent of all oil usage worldwide is for the production of traditional plastic.
Bioplastics, on the other hand, are made at least partly from plant-based materials. Our toys are made from at least 94% sugar cane, which is a renewable raw material.
There are two main types of bioplastics being made: polylactic acid (known as PLA) and Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). PLA is made from plant sugars, while PHA is made from microbes that produce the substance when they are deprived of nutrients.
Are bioplastics better for the environment?
Although they aren’t perfect, many environmental and waste experts believe bioplastics have the potential to reduce our negative impact on the environment. Here are a few of the main benefits of bioplastics:
Bioplastics reduce fossil fuel demands.
Since bioplastics are made from plant-based materials instead of fossil fuels, their rising popularity means less oil extraction and usage specifically for the purpose of producing plastic.
Bioplastics are less toxic.
Despite their chemical similarity (bioplastics are just as strong as their regular plastic cousins), bioplastics do not contain bisphenol A (BPA) which is known to be a toxic hormone disrupter. BPA is commonly found in conventional plastics, such as food containers, and even some baby bottles, although it is increasingly avoided due to wider public knowledge.
Bioplastics support fair economy better.
Oil is concentrated in just a few rich countries and controlled by major corporations such as Shell (famous for the oil spill that decimated the environment around it). Plants, on the other hand, are everywhere. For this reason, it is believed that bioplastics support a more sustainable, fair market share. Who would you rather give your money to, a wealthy oil executive or a sugar cane farmer?
- They reduce carbon footprint.
- They providing energy savings in production.
- They do not involve the consumption of non-renewable raw materials such as fossil fuels.
- They do not contain additives that are harmful to health, such as phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA), so are non-toxic, and therefore better for your children.
- Their production reduces non-biodegradable waste that contaminates the environment.
So, in conclusion, when thinking about hard wearing toys especially ones made of plastic, think bioplastics. Check out our range here.