Are Bio-Plastics Still Plastics?

A leading manufacturer of bio-plastics has begun a trek from Florence, Italy to Singapore that will traverse 30 countries by mid-December, 2015. Meredian Holdings Group Inc. of Bainbridge, Georgia, which claims to lead in the production of polyhydroxyelkanoates (PHA),” announced the company hopes to raise awareness of the global problem of plastic pollution and the petrochemical industries culpability in it.

PHA is a naturally occurring biopolymer produced by microbial bacteria. MHG claims its formulation is certified to biodegrade in freshwater, salt water and soil within one year, and says the Food and Drug Administration has also certified it as safe for contact with food.

According to the plastic industry trade publication PlasticsToday, the company’s representatives are on a fact-finding mission to determine just how plastic figures in peoples’ lives, as well as how petroleum-based plastics impact the environment. They will search coastal, jungle, desert and mountain regions to gain a wide perspective.

This comes as the debate over whether or not bio-plastics are a solution to global plastic pollution continues to evolve. PlasticsToday’s writer Clare Goldsbery notes, “It appears that one of the goals of this trip is to promote bio-plastics as an environmentally superior alternative to plastics. But, isn’t plastic plastic? Even with the ‘bio’ qualifier, it’s still plastic.” 

PlasticsToday’s coverage of plastics-related news and end markets includes developments in bio-plastics and industry initiatives in sustainability. Read the full story, “Are Bio-Plastics Still Plastics” on their website.

Photo credit: Jon Wiley / Foter / CC BY-NC

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