Biodegradable packaging materials
Languages of publication
The amount of synthetic wastes has been increasing all around the world, including Poland. Used packages cause serious economic and environmental problems because they are hardly degradable, long-life products. New packing materials have been developed which are biodegradable under natural conditions. They are based on synthetic polymers as well as microbial, plant and animal origin polymers. Chemically synthetic biodegradable materials include: polycaprolactone, polylactic acid and polyvinyl alcohol. Microbial plastics include: bacterial polyhydroxyacid alkanoates and pullulan. Plant and animal polymers include: proteins, alginate, cellulose and starch and its derivates. New packaging materials usually contain starch which facilitates biodegradation. High proportion of starch decreases the mechanical properties of the material, while low starch content reduces its capacity of biodegradation. Studies are carried out on the use of thermoplastic starch (destructured during extrusion) for biodegradable materials in which it occurs alone or in combination with different synthetic polymers.
Publication order reference
W. Leszczynski, Katedra Technologii Rolnej i Przechowalnictwa, Akademia Rolnicza, ul. Norwida 25, 50-375 Wroclaw, Poland