The growing concern of plastics disposal at the end of their life cycle has induced the addressing of specific standards and normatives to promote reuse, recycling and final disposal of the plastics with the aim to minimize the use of resources and select the best possible option for final disposal of the material, thus promoting recovering in terms of materials itself (mechanical or chemical recycling), energy, or biomass. Similar criteria has been considered also in materials production, thus promoting both the preferential use of renewable versus petro sources and a green chemistry approach for the synthesis of polymers and additives. The industrial production of commodity non biodegradable polymers from bio-based resources has induced some confusion in the definition of bio-based polymers versus biodegradable ones. In addition, the general assessment of biodegradability of a plastic is not sufficient for granting the fulfilment of the requirements of consolidated international standards for composting. Thus, it is important to have a clear idea of the definition of bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable as well as to be aware of the current legislation and of the sustainability concepts. Indeed, if not properly planned and addressed, the production of compostable materials might result as being less sustainable than that of petro derived, not biodegradable polymers. The present chapter reviews the current definition of bio-based, recyclable, biodegradable and compostable materials and refers to current standards and legislation. The definition of sustainable production for plastic materials and the methods currently adopted to evaluate the sustainability of products are also addressed.

Biodegradable and Biobased Polymers: Definitions, Standards, and Future Perspectives

Patrizia Cinelli
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Maria-Beatrice Coltelli
Secondo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Norma Mallegni
Penultimo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Andrea Lazzeri
Ultimo
Supervision
2018-01-01

Abstract

The growing concern of plastics disposal at the end of their life cycle has induced the addressing of specific standards and normatives to promote reuse, recycling and final disposal of the plastics with the aim to minimize the use of resources and select the best possible option for final disposal of the material, thus promoting recovering in terms of materials itself (mechanical or chemical recycling), energy, or biomass. Similar criteria has been considered also in materials production, thus promoting both the preferential use of renewable versus petro sources and a green chemistry approach for the synthesis of polymers and additives. The industrial production of commodity non biodegradable polymers from bio-based resources has induced some confusion in the definition of bio-based polymers versus biodegradable ones. In addition, the general assessment of biodegradability of a plastic is not sufficient for granting the fulfilment of the requirements of consolidated international standards for composting. Thus, it is important to have a clear idea of the definition of bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable as well as to be aware of the current legislation and of the sustainability concepts. Indeed, if not properly planned and addressed, the production of compostable materials might result as being less sustainable than that of petro derived, not biodegradable polymers. The present chapter reviews the current definition of bio-based, recyclable, biodegradable and compostable materials and refers to current standards and legislation. The definition of sustainable production for plastic materials and the methods currently adopted to evaluate the sustainability of products are also addressed.
Cinelli, Patrizia; Coltelli, MARIA BEATRICE; Mallegni, Norma; Lazzeri, Andrea
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1140167
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