There is more than just one type of plastic. There is also more than one type of bioplastic. Bioplastics can be biobased, biodegradable, or both, but many people use these terms interchangeably. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Biobased plastics and biodegradable plastics are two distinct types of plastics. Read on to learn more:
What are biobased plastics?
Plastics can be made from a wide variety of raw materials. While we mostly associate plastics with fossil fuels, they can also be made out of other natural resources, including salt, cellulose, vegetable oil, and more.
Biobased plastics are made from renewable resources, or plants, rather than fossil fuels. Many common plants used for biobased plastics include corn, cassava, and sugarcane.
What are biodegradable plastics?
The term “biodegradable” is often thrown around, especially for marketing purposes. After all, biodegradability is seen as eco-friendly, and thus better for our planet.
Biodegradable plastics are made from materials which use microorganism to degrade back into a natural substance, including carbon dioxide, water, methane, biomass, and more.
What’s the difference?
Biobased plastics and biodegradable plastics can overlap, but not always. You can have biobased plastics that cannot degrade, just as you can have biodegradable plastics that are not made out of renewable resources. While they are both considered bioplastics, they are not always one and the same.