A new study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production for the first time attempts to make a qualitative evaluation of the sustainability of the different bioplastics that are commercially available or soon to be on the market. The authors looked at environmental, health and safety impacts throughout the life cycles of these materials within the context of the 12 principles for sustainable biomaterials compiled by the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative (SBC), a coalition of organizations that advances the introduction and use of biobased products.
Entitled “Sustainability of bio-based plastics: general comparative analysis and recommendations for improvement”, the study reviewed each type of bioplastic according to a variety of sustainability criteria derived from SBC’s 12 principles. These criteria included the use of genetically modified organisms and hazardous pesticides to grow the crops used as feedstock, the use of hazardous chemicals during production and processing, the use of untested nanomaterials, potential workplace hazards, disposal options, disposal options and efficiency in the use of water, energy and materials.
Tags: SBC’s 12 principles, Bioplastics Spectrum for Occupational Health, Bioplastics Spectrum for the Environment
Source: Packaging Digest, 2012-04-30,