A Review of Bioplastics and Their Adoption in the Circular Economy

Polymers (Basel). 2021 Apr 10;13(8):1229. doi: 10.3390/polym13081229.


The European Union is working towards the 2050 net-zero emissions goal and tackling the ever-growing environmental and sustainability crisis by implementing the European Green Deal. The shift towards a more sustainable society is intertwined with the production, use, and disposal of plastic in the European economy. Emissions generated by plastic production, plastic waste, littering and leakage in nature, insufficient recycling, are some of the issues addressed by the European Commission. Adoption of bioplastics-plastics that are biodegradable, bio-based, or both-is under assessment as one way to decouple society from the use of fossil resources, and to mitigate specific environmental risks related to plastic waste. In this work, we aim at reviewing the field of bioplastics, including standards and life cycle assessment studies, and discuss some of the challenges that can be currently identified with the adoption of these materials.

Keywords: bio-based plastic; biodegradable plastic; bioeconomy; bioplastic; life cycle assessment; sustainability.

Publication types

  • Review