Plastic pollution is a global concern as every year, increasing number of plastic volumes end up in the natural environment. This is a major risk to the environment and marine life. Hence biodegradable plastics came to light. Whilst this could be a part of the solution, but it also has its own challenges.
Most biodegradable plastics degrade only in specific environment conditions or may only via industrial composting facilities (controlled conditions) although they can be engineered to be biodegradable, but not all of them can be made recyclable.
Commonly used biobased plastics are PBAT, PHA, that is made from sugars grown from algae and PLA, that is made from sugar cane and corn. Whilst these bioplastics may be inexpensive but do not possess the required functionality when compared to the strength and other properties.
On the other hand, we have PVOH/PVA that is safely broken down into water, biomass and CO2 leaving no microplastics behind. This is one of the very few vinyl polymers that are not only soluble in water but are susceptible to ultimate biodegradation in the presence of suitably acclimated microorganisms.