Bioplastics Will Help Fight Climate Change

Switching from petroleum-based polymers to polymers that are biologically based could decrease carbon emissions by hundreds of millions of tons every year.

Plant-derived plastics are better for the environment for two reasons.

  • reduction in the energy required to manufacture plant-based plastics – by as much as 80 percent. A ton of petrol-based plastic generates 2 to 3 tons of CO₂, a bio-polymer can reduce this 0.5 tons of CO₂ per ton.
  • Plant-based plastics can be biodegradable, so they don’t accumulate in landfills.

Bio-polymers derived from plants can act as a carbon storage. Plants use photosynthesis to convert CO₂, water and sunlight to sugars. When these sugar molecules are converted into bio-polymers, the carbon is effectively locked away from the atmosphere – as long as they’re not biodegraded or incinerated. Even if bio-polymers end up in a landfill, they will still serve this carbon storage role.

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