(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Bioplastics: Can they be a solution to plastic pollution?

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Bioplastics: Can they be a solution to plastic pollution?


Bioplastics: Can they be a solution to plastic pollution?

  • Plastics have become an integral part of modern lifestyle. They are inexpensive, durable, flexible, non-corrosive, and come in various colours, sizes, and shapes. 
  • This has led to their widespread use as kitchen wares (spoons, knives, forks, plates, containers), packaging, toys, furniture, building materials, and many more.


  • Plastics are polymers in which an assembly of one or more types of identical subunits, known as monomers, are linked together by a process called polymerisation to form a long chain molecule. 
  • The properties of plastics depend upon the type and numbers of the monomers in the chain, chain length, and the way they have been linked to form the polymer. 
  • Virtually all the monomers for the various types of plastics are derived from fossil fuel, particularly crude oil, and natural gas. Hence, they are generally referred to as ‘Petro-plastics.
  • Industrial production of plastics started only in the 1950s, but its growth has been phenomenal. 
  • According to the UN Environment Programme only about 2 million metric tons of plastic was produced the world over in the 1970s. But today the amount has risen to 400 million metric tons per year. 
  • According to the Centre for Science and Environment, India produced about 3.5 million metric tonnes of plastics in 2019-2020.



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Courtesy: Science Reporter