Discover the main biodegradable raw materials
There are many biodegradable raw materials that make it possible for the plastics industry to manufacture much more sustainable and environmentally friendly products.
Starting from elements such as potatoes, sugar cane or sugar beet, we can carry out a production based on the circular economy.
Today we talk about different biodegradable raw materials that are used in the industry to obtain alternatives to conventional plastic. Here we go!
What are biodegradable raw materials?
A biodegradable raw material is one that has the ability to decompose through the action of biological agents under different types of environmental conditions. It is therefore a natural decomposition process that leaves no traces of microplastics. In other words, they are raw materials that do not pollute the environment.
When we speak of biodegradable raw materials, we are referring to materials that have the capacity to decompose through the action of nature and subsequently reintegrate into nature. This process is carried out by living organisms that make use of them to produce energy and create other substances.
The biodegradation time will vary depending on the material and the conditions in which it is found. It is important to note that biodegradable products do not cause any damage to the environment, and their properties can even be used by the environment, as in the case of compostable products. This is due to the fact that compostable materials biodegrade giving rise to compost that can later be used to grow a new plant.
Recommended reading: Biodegradable plastics. Learn about the different applications of bioplastics.
Main biodegradable raw materials
Biodegradable raw materials refer to a wide range of materials that, due to their different properties, can be used for the manufacture of different products and applications. The following are the most common ones:
Here we find two types of biodegradable bioplastics:
1. Biodegradable of biological origin: these are bioplastics made from biological materials such as sugar beet or sugar cane. These materials are already used at industrial level, especially in the packaging sector for the manufacture of ready-to-eat food containers, cups, cutlery…
Here are some of the bioplastics of plant origin:
- PLA: polylactic acid. It is widely used in the food packaging industry. It is often used for the manufacture of trays, kitchenware….
- PHA: polyhydroxyalkanoates. It is normally used for caps and bags.
- Starch-based bioplastics
- Cellulose-based bioplastics
Suggested reading: El PLA, what is it and what is it used for
2. Fossil-based biodegradables: these are biodegradable materials that are made from fossil materials such as petroleum. Within this type of materials, we find, among others:
- PBS: polybutylene succinate. It is also present in different applications in the packaging industry.
- PBAT: polybutylene adipate terephthalate. Its main property is flexibility.
Other biodegradable materials
Bagasse is the residue that remains after the extraction of valuable components from plants such as sugar cane. It is sometimes used for the manufacture of tableware and single-use catering articles.
Cellulose usually results in biodegradable products that are more brittle and not very permeable. However, it is the most abundant polymer in nature so many can have access to it.
There are different biodegradable natural fibers that come from different crops such as jute or hemp.
Benefits of using biodegradable raw materials
Using biodegradable raw materials offers great advantages for plastic product manufacturers. Here are some of them:
- More sustainable materials. The search for a more environmentally friendly model is necessary and urgent.
- Many biodegradable raw materials are plant-based, so you won`t have to use non-renewable sources such as petroleum.
- Show your customers that you are a company committed to the environment. This will enhance your reputation against the competition.
Discover ZIMIA grades, formulated with biodegradable raw materials
Prime Biopolymers is a company dedicated to the development of bioplastics and all the grades offered to the plastics industry are compostable.
ZIMIA materials have been designed by our technical team to manufacture products in conventional machinery and are Ok Compost certified. In order to ensure that ZIMIA grades are fully adapted to the needs of our customers, we develop customized compostable bioplastic grades.
From Prime Biopolymers, through our investment in research and development, we transform requirements like transparency, fluidity and flexibility into a specific grade of compostable material to achieve a more environmentally friendly line of parts or packaging.
Finally, due to the expertise of PhDs in chemistry, polymers and materials science, we now offer different grades for each type of industry: injection molding, injection blow molding, extrusion, extrusion blow molding, blown film, 3D and coating.
Por último, debido a la experiencia de nuestros doctores en química y materiales, contamos ya con diferentes grados para cada tipo de industria: inyección, extrusión, inyección soplado, film soplado, 3D, coating y extrusión soplado.