Like it or not we live in a world in which we currently consume more than the planet can sustain. There is a mindset that encourages us to dispose of what we have and move on to the next. As such it represents a powerful challenge if global society is to move forward in a sustainable way, whilst recognising that resources are limited.
The plastics industry has for some time recognised the need to minimise its impact on the environment through its products and production processes. Such thinking lays at the root of the developments of what are often loosely termed bio-plastics. For many, developments in this area represent something akin to a universal panacea for minimising the impact of plastics on the environment and who believe the industry should focus disproportionally on their development. Unfortunately life is not quite that simple.
For example even the term bio plastics is actually not very precise. Such materials should preferably be termed bio – based and or bio – degradable depending upon a number of factors. The distinctions are subtle but significant.