The development of sustainable bioplastics for new applications in packaging industry

Abstract The advantage of biodegradable plastics is their degradation under the influence of biological systems into substances naturally present in the environment, which are then placed in a natural circulation cycle of matter. Moreover, the biodegradable plastics waste not require additional segregation and separation from households, and are collected together with other organic waste and subjected to recycling under aerobic or anaerobic conditions. Use of bioplastics reduces the harmful effects of waste on the environment, but does not eliminate it completely.

The article presents the results of (bio) degradation studies under industrial and laboratory (MicroOxymax) composting conditions as well as at atmospheric conditions of commercial disposable dishes from the Nature Works® PLA. Were also carried out investigation of abiotic degradation under laboratory conditions. It was found, from the macro- and microscopic observations, that the tested cups (bio) degraded in the selected environments, wherein in a greater extent under industrial composting conditions than in MicroOxymax. The GPC results, which show significantly reduce in the molar mass of the tested samples after specified incubation times in all environments, indicates that the hydrolytic degradation process occurs predominantly.

Keywords— (bio)degradation; industrial composting; PLA

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