Understanding Biobased and Biodegradable-Compostable Plastics
Ramani Narayan, Michigan State University
This webinar teaches the fundamentals of biobased plastics and biodegradable-compostable plastics.
Biobased plastics, based on renewable feedstocks, offer the intrinsic value of a reduced carbon footprint, in harmony with the rates and time scales of the natural biological carbon cycle. But the fact that they are biobased does not automatically qualify them as “biodegradable”; end-of-life solutions like recycling and waste-to-energy must be evaluated and built into the product design. Webinar attendees will learn how biobased (renewable) plastics reduce the carbon footprint; how to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint reductions that are achieved; and how to differentiate between material and process carbon footprints.
Unfortunately, misleading, deceptive, and scientifically unsubstantiated claims regarding biodegradability are proliferating in the marketplace. In this webinar, attendees will learn the science behind biodegradability-compostability, learn to ask the right questions, and sort through the hype and unsubstantiated claims. Current and emerging national (ASTM), European (EN), and international standards (ISO) will be reviewed. Governmental promotional initiatives and regulations will be discussed.