Traditional synthetic plastics are everywhere, you can name thousands of uses for them. We encounter them in daily life since we are babies. But do you know where bioplastics are mostly used? Let´s look at the most common commercial uses of bioplastic.
Bioplastics in Packaging
The packaging is probably the biggest market where bioplastics are used, and they are rapidly replacing traditional plastics. Many industries will use bioplastics in their packaging because they offer a large scope of possible packaging uses, they are versatile and durable. Bioplastics are easily processed using the same plastics processing technologies.
You may have heard that many restaurants are changing their take-out food containers for environmentally friendly options. They are switching the food containers, boxes, and trays in order to satisfy the consumers’ concert with plastic pollution. There is the added benefit of maintaining the food quality without the dangers of leaking chemicals into the food.
Agricultural and produce packaging
Another example of an industry that is heavily switching to use bioplastics for their packaging. They are now using products such as agricultural bags and foils, trays, nursery products, planters, and pots. Even other products like mulches, seeding strips, and tapes in Agriculture are using bioplastics.
The cosmetics industry is very customer-focused and therefore many companies want to convince their clients they are making a conscious change. The traditional cosmetics packaging is rarely recycled, so switching the containers and disposables can make a big impact.
Other packaging applications
Other common applications of bioplastics are compostable waste collection bags (trash bags) and biodegradable shopping bags. These products will degrade and decompose when in contact with air, water, or sunlight.
Similar to food packaging, food service and catering are an example of an industry that demands and leads the change. We can find bioplastic single-use or multiple-use cutlery, cups, salad bowls, plates, wraps and film, straws, stirrers, and others.
Consumer electronics have also made big advancements in lowering their environmental footprint. In the past, their environmental agenda included mostly making more energy-efficient appliances and pushing for more recycling options. Now they are introducing bioplastics in the production of touch screen computer casings, keyboard elements, mobile casings, loudspeakers, and many other parts.
Bioplastics are a great promise in the medical fields, they are being used in the development of modern medical devices, but also directly used during surgeries or dental procedures.
Bioplastic sutures (stitches), for example, are used now as they are easily sterilized and after the wounds have healed, they will dissolve in the body leaving no trace. Dentists will use bioplastic implants. Orthopaedists use bioplastic pins, staples, and screws to reattach the bones and the ligaments.
The automotive industry has been researching and designing greener vehicles for decades. As the industry is one of the most polluting industries, they are now trying to lower their numbers by introducing bioplastic components in their production. The focus is to choose the material that will be resistant, safe, and lightweight, in order for the fuel consumption and gas emissions to be lower. A leader in adopting bioplastics is the company Toyota, the most common bioplastic parts they use are seat cushions, seat pads, scuff plates, register blades, luggage upholstery, and many other parts.
To sum up, we can see that many of the companies and industries adapt to bioplastics and other green initiatives because consumers show ever-increasing preference toward environmental-friendly products. That is the proof that every consumer is able to change the future one purchase at a time.