APPLICATIONS OF BIOPLASTICS

Bioplastics have versatile properties which enable a wide-range of applications and are suitable for several non-single use products.

MEDICAL

Some bioplastics are used as implants in support of tissue growth, bone grafting, and fracture fixation devices. Their biodegradation is leveraged to eliminate the need to remove implants.

FIBRES AND TEXTILES

Various bioplastics can be processed into fibres by spinning, and its absorption properties make them suitable for fibre applications. Examples include tea bags, antimicrobial wipes, water filters, and automotive applications such as carpets and floor mats. Bioplastic textiles are being used by garment industries. Thermal insulation and buffering capacity to sweat makes bioplastics suitable for sports apparel and has been found to withstand laundry service. It also finds uses in homeware such as curtains, pillowcases, and rugs.

PACKAGING

Bioplastics have seen numerous applications in packaging and extensive and ongoing research and development continuously results in enhanced properties. 

Bioplastics have been used commercially in shopping bags, fresh produce packaging, yoghurt pots, drink bottles, potato/vegetable crisp bags and coffee pods.

OTHER DURABLE APPLICATIONS

As bioplastics are robust materials, they have also been used in durable products such mobile phone cases, toothbrushes and service ware.

Adapted from Castro-Aguirre, E., Iñiguez-Franco, F., Samsudin, H., Fang, X. & Auras, R. Poly(lactic acid)—Mass production, processing, industrial applications, and end of life. Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 14, 4265–4277 (2016).