Despite biodegradable plastics are an effective method to minimize plastic contamination, it is important to study their behaviour in different conditions like soil, freshwater, marine, or industrial compost.
Hence, it is mandatory to realize individual end-of-life analysis of new plastic products. This must be done considering the properties and processing conditions of each bioplastic rather than carrying out a generic waste management plan. Life cycle analysis (LCA) is an indispensable tool to gauge and quantify the benefits or impacts of any bioplastics, subjecting to boundary conditions and assessment considerations.
Sustainable management of bioplastic waste is highly challenging as some of the bioplastics are designed to only biodegrade in specific managed conditions. If they are disposed in non-ideal environments, they can create a huge ill-effect.
Therefore, recycling is considered the most preferred option to manage bioplastic waste. However, the prime challenge in recycling post-consumer bioplastic waste is attributed to its heterogeneity and organic dependence. Also, low market volumes and plastic contamination hinder recyclability rates. Therefore, there is a clear need for a more efficient recycling process to valorise the bioplastic waste into perpetually reusable high-value end-products.
For all the above-mentioned reasons, it is necessary to promote research on bio-based materials and plastic recycling. INGREEN and MANDALA projects contribute to these ambitions.