10 May 2017

Myth: bioplastics will solve the trashproblem

It doesn’t take you very long to find the consequences of the plastic soup in the ocean. The internet is filled with images of sea turtles with sixpack-rings around their shell, seals covered in shredded plastic bags and beaches littered with plastic bottles. Bioplastic, which accounts for only 2 percent of the total amount of plastic, seems to be the logical solution. If all the materials come from nature, it can’t harm nature. But that’s too simple of a thought according to Yvonne van der Meer, Associate Professor Sustainability of Biobased Materials.

You want a long-lasting product, but in at the same time you want it to be easy degradable. That makes it very hard because those two objectives clash with each other. It is possible with a specific ‘trigger’, which dissolves the product when you want it to and not sooner.”