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Title: Bioplastics
Authors: Kalia, V C
Raizada, Neena
Sonakya, V
Issue Date: Jun-2000
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: Plastics and polymers have become a part of our life today. The annual consumption of plastics in India is 2 kg/person/y. In the other developed countries the per capita consumption of plastics is of the order of 60 kg/y. Some naturally occurring plastic materials have been made use of by man from the earliest times, e.g., Lac and Amber. Today, almost all the plastics are manufactured synthetically and they have much better properties than naturally occurring plastics. The basic raw material for all the modern plastics is crude oil and natural gas. Due to their non-biodegradable nature, environmentalists are campaigning against their production and usage. In India, plastic wastes accounts for 1 to 4 per cent by weight of the total of 80,000 metric tonnes of Municipal solid waste generated daily. In USA, of the 4 lakh tonnes of garbage generated everyday, plastic constitute 30 per cent of its volume. Plastics (polymers) can be degraded by three different processes, either independently or in combination : (i) Light or high energy radiation, (ii) Heat, and (iii) Microbes. In response to increasing public concern over environmental hazard caused by plastic, many countries are conducting various solid waste management programmes including plastic waste reduction by development of biodegradable plastic material. There is an intense research for making the biodegradable plastic material. Some biodegradable plastic materials under development are: (i) Poly hydroxy alkanoates (PHAs), (ii) Poly-lactides, (iii) Aliphatic poly-esters, (iv) Polysaccharides, and (v) Co-polymers and/or blends of above. However, it is possible to produce biodegradable plastics from bio-wastes with the help of a syntrophic population of microbes of diverse origins. This will help to reduce waste management problems and improve environment.
Page(s): 433-445
ISSN: 0975-1084 (Online); 0022-4456 (Print)
Appears in Collections:JSIR Vol.59(06) [June 2000]

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