News from CRIS: Packaging - Plant-based Plastics

June 29, 2021

What are plant-based plastics?

Plant-based plastic materials, sometimes called bioplastics, are biodegradable and compostable polymers developed from renewable biomass sources like corn, straw, and other crops (1).
Polylactic acid is the most widely used plant-based plastic found in novel medical, agriculture, and packaging applications (1,2).

Where can I find food-safe plant-based plastics?

While still a tiny market share, you can find food-safe plant-based plastics used in disposable beverage cups, compostable produce bags, and other single-use plastics.

Are they sustainable? 

Yes. Plant-based plastic packaging is sustainable as it comes from plant sources. Unlike most petroleum-based plastic packaging, under the right conditions, plant-based plastics can fully decompose. We can more easily recycle plant-based plastic packaging than petroleum-based plastic packaging (1).


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