The world is facing a very big challenge in eliminating plastic content. Plastic has become a matter of great concern. It is non-biodegradable; this means that the plastic content when disposed of in the open environment stays in the same state forever. This has become a worry to the various environmentalist and hence it has become an initiative to shift from this non-biodegradable packing to biodegradable ones. The shift though is not easy. Plastic is very friendly to businessmen. It is cheap and abundant, it can be used in multiple forms for multiple packing requirements. So, what are the replacements of plastics which have the same strength and the same life? And are there any businesses that are doing something to replace plastics in packing?
Well, Hero Packing is one such company that is working on replacing plastics with eco-friendly biodegradable materials. The company’s prime focus is to build a packing industry with eco-friendly composites. The company is using materials like PLA and PBAT for this. So are these materials eco-friendly? Let's check this out:
PLA stands for polylactic acid. This polymer made is made from natural resources such a corn starch and sugarcane. The objective of producing PLA is to replace petroleum-based plastics. Two things make PLA a better alternative to the existing PET. The first one is that while producing PLA it uses 65% less energy and produces around 63% less greenhouse gas. In this way, while one produces the PLA it automatically becomes much more eco-friendly than the existing plastic counterparts. On the other hand, when the PLA is disposed of in a controlled environment unlike its plastic counterparts it will break down naturally, returning to the earth. Therefore, it can be classified as biodegradable.
PBAT stands for polybutylene adipate terephthalate. This is a fully bio-degradable polymer. When PBAT is buried in the soil it leaves behind no residual and becomes a part of the earth. PBAT has been developed by scientists to just replace the plastics that are used in the packaging industry and other industries as well. The plastics that we see around ourselves in dump yards or oceans are plastics that might not be of this decade. Plastics don’t degrade naturally for thousands of years, and therefore alternatives like PBAT are being made keeping in mind the future.
The world needs to make a shift from the conventional packing in plastics to packing in things made of PLA and PBAT. These materials are not just degradable but are also very sturdy. They will make sure that the user gets the benefit of plastics but at the same time, it doesn’t create havoc for the future. Plastic waste is becoming a greater concern with each passing day and the earlier we switch to degradable materials, the better the future will be.