Plastics are excellent materials owing to their multipurpose uses. They are simple synthetic macromolecules with versatile properties. On the disposal front, nearly 90% of the plastic products are discarded only after a single use, which keeps accumulating, impacting both terrestrial and marine life. About 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste have accumulated worldwide from the time of the plastic revolution. Around 79% of plastic waste amasses in landfills every year, and 2.41 million tonnes of the waste enters oceans. The accumulation of this waste poses harmful threats to the environment and flora and fauna of land and aquatic habitats. To keep a check on the generation and collection of plastic waste, the utilization of alternative materials developed from biodegradable polymers as substitutes to plastics seems quite sound. The present perspective highlights single use plastic's (SUP) challenges and the importance of biodegradable polymers as possible substitutes to SUPs. The scope of different biodegradable polymers and their suitability for developing alternative materials to SUPs is discussed. In addition, the current market status of alternative materials produced from biodegradable polymers is described. Finally, a perspective on the future of biodegradable polymers as substitutes to plastics for envisaging a green world is outlined.
Advanced Sustainable Systems – Wiley
Published: Oct 19, 2021
Keywords: alternative materials; biodegradable polymers; future perspectives; green world; plastics