As a proponent of bioplastics, often referred to as plant-based plastics, there are obviously aspects that aren’t perfect about them as a magical fix-all solution many companies may try to convey. This leads to greenwashing the truth of how these plastics actually affect the environment. However, despite this, we still believe there is a responsible and beneficial way to use plant-based plastics that can aid in efforts to stop climate change.
Bioplastics have various advantages depending on how they are produced, such as reduced use of fossil fuel resources, a smaller carbon footprint, and faster decomposition. Bioplastic is also less toxic and does not contain bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disruptor that is often found in traditional plastics.
Although some bioplastics can have all of these advantages, some may only have a few. But even so, most bioplastics are still an overall better option than petroleum-based plastics.
Kartik Chandran, a professor in the Earth and Environmental Engineering Department at Columbia University who is working on bioplastics, believes that compared to traditional plastics, “bioplastics are a significant improvement.”
Technology has allowed us to create the same and even more useful polymers currently created from fossil fuels but with a cleaner, renewable resource in plants. The benefit to this is that plants will remove carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis versus us adding it into the atmosphere when we dig up fossil fuels from underground.