PHA – A plastic of the future

18 May 2022

The world now produces nearly 400m t/y of plastic, most of which ends up in landfill. The widespread and very evident nature of this plastic litter is driving interest in bioplastics as a means to minimise the impact on the environment that our plastic consumption results in.

PHAs are considered to be bioplastics of the future. They display all the features characterising green plastics: they are biobased, biosynthesised, biodegradable in natural environments, compostable, and biocompatible1. Biodegradability is the most intriguing property of PHAs. An alternative bioplastic, polylactic acid (PLA), which is the largest-volume bio-derived polymer, breaks down, but only in an industrial composting facility. PHAs, on the other hand, will biodegrade in ambient environments, even in the ocean. They will degrade to carbon dioxide and water in the presence of oxygen, and to methane in anaerobic degradation, avoiding the accumulation of micro/nano plastics.


Read the full article at The Chemical Engineer