Plastics have most commonly and in large quantities been derived from petrochemicals. We call them ‘petroplastics’ or ‘fossil fuel plastics’. Bioplastics on the other hand are plastics made from renewable biomass sources, such as cellulose.
Did you know? The first man-made plastic was manufactured from cellulose. It was called Parkesine.
Not all bioplastics are degradable though. Some are designed to be durable. Durability often translates into less biodegradability. But any plastic on this planet right now is biodegradable, it will eventually breakdown into CO2, water and energy. Just not in the way that helps us and our environment.
“The relative ease with which petroleum hydrocarbons will degrade as a result of biological metabolism. Although virtually all petroleum hydrocarbons are biodegradable, biodegradability is highly variable and dependent somewhat on the type of hydrocarbon. In general, biodegradability increases with increasing solubility; solubility is inversely proportional to molecular weight.” – U.S. Environmental Protection…
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