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Bioplastics: A Green Approach Toward Sustainable Environment

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Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology

Abstract

Petroleum-based plastics are synthetic compounds which are derived from oil and other fossil materials. Plastics are widely used because of their various superior properties like durability, but this also makes it stubborn. Most of the known plastics are not biodegradable and they persist in the environment for hundreds of years. Plastics are not bad but because they are non-biodegradable and they create harmful effects to animals, human beings, wild animals, and marine life. We are not able to manage them and also unable to find a substitute for same. Some suitable green alternatives are required to reduce plastic pollution. Plastics are referred green if they are from renewable resource, biodegradable or compostable after the end of life, and their processing is environmentally friendly. In recent years, naturally occurring biofibers have attracted increasing interest due to their wide applications in food packaging and in the biomedical sciences. Biodegradable plastics are made from starch, cellulose, chitosan, and protein extracted from renewable biomass. These eco-friendly polymers reduce greenhouse gases which require no petrochemicals. They reduce the use of fossil fuels and reliance on non-renewable resources. Manufacturing process can use up to 65 per cent less energy and generates fewer greenhouse gases than conventional plastic. Some are biodegradable and/or compostable. Therefore, biodegradable plastics should be produced and utilized at a large scale to fulfill demand of increasing population. The present paper summarizes all these content regarding the applications, production, types, challenges, sustainability, and use of eco-friendly and cheap substrates for the production of bioplastics.

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Correspondence to Pratibha Singh .

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Singh, P., Verma, R. (2020). Bioplastics: A Green Approach Toward Sustainable Environment. In: Singh, A., Srivastava, S., Rathore, D., Pant, D. (eds) Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-6021-7_3

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