Bioplastics: A step in the Right Direction but Not the Solution we would Hope for…

The plastic crisis is a well-known and pressing problem facing the world today. With the increasing amount of plastic waste polluting our oceans and landfills, it’s clear that something needs to be done to reduce our reliance on traditional, fossil fuel-based plastics. One potential solution that has gained traction in recent years is bioplastics, or plastics made from renewable resources such as corn, potato, or sugarcane. While bioplastics do offer some benefits, it’s important to recognize that they are not a magic solution to the plastic pollution crisis.


Advantages of Bioplastics

There are several reasons why bioplastics can be seen as a good initiative. One of the main benefits is that they are typically made from renewable resources, which means that they are not dependent on finite fossil fuels. This makes them a more sustainable option, as they can be replenished over time through natural processes.

Another advantage of bioplastics is that they can be biodegradable or compostable. Traditional plastics, on the other hand, are non-biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. Bioplastics, on the other hand, can be broken down by microorganisms in a matter of months or years, reducing their impact on the environment.

Bioplastics also have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many bioplastics are made from plant materials, which absorb carbon dioxide as they grow. When these materials are used to make bioplastics, the carbon that was absorbed during the plant’s growth can be stored in the plastic. This can help offset some of the greenhouse gas emissions that are released during the production of traditional plastics.


Limitations of Bioplastics

While bioplastics do offer some benefits, it’s important to recognize that they are not a complete solution to the plastic crisis. One of the main limitations of bioplastics is that they are typically more expensive to produce than traditional plastics. This can make them less appealing to manufacturers, who are often driven by cost considerations.

Another limitation is that bioplastics are not always biodegradable or compostable under all conditions. For example, some bioplastics require specific temperature, moisture, and microbial conditions in order to break down. These conditions may not be present in all environments, meaning that the bioplastic may not break down as intended.

Furthermore, regular waste deposit facilities doesn’t have the capability to handle bioplastic properly. This leads bioplastic to be disposed just like regular plastic, because actual bioplastic handling facilities are very few on a global scale. Therefore only a small percentage of bioplastic is actually being composted.


The Future of Bioplastics

While bioplastics are not a perfect solution to the plastic crisis, they do offer some advantages over traditional plastics. As such, they can be seen as a step in the right direction in the transition to a more sustainable society. However, it’s important to recognize that bioplastics are not a silver bullet and that we need to continue exploring other options as well.

One potential solution is to focus on reducing our overall consumption of plastic. This could involve using fewer single-use plastics and transitioning to reusable alternatives (a transition LAST-X has made its mission to contribute to), as well as recycling and repurposing plastic waste. Another option is to explore the use of alternative materials for packaging and other applications, such as paper, glass, or metal.



In conclusion, bioplastics are a good initiative that can help reduce our reliance on traditional plastics and make our consumption more sustainable. However, they are not a complete solution to the plastic crisis and we need to continue exploring other options as well. Reducing our overall consumption of plastic, transitioning to reusable alternatives, and recycling and repurposing plastic waste are all important strategies that can help address the plastic pollution crisis.