An overview of bio-based polymers for packaging materials

Yuanfeng Pan, Madjid Farmahini-Farahani, Perry O’Hearn, Huining Xiao, Helen Ocampo


Synthetic polymers are the most widely used materials for packaging because of their ease of processing, low cost, and low density. However, many of these materials are not easily recyclable and are difficult to degrade completely in nature, creating environmental problems. Thus, there is a tendency to substitute such polymers with natural polymers and copolymers that are easily bio-degraded and less likely to cause environmental pollution. There has been a greater interest in poly-lactic acid (PLA), poly-hydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), cellulose and starch based polymers and copolymers as the emerging biodegradable material candidates for the future. This paper reviews the present state-of-the-art biodegradable polymers made from renewable resources and discusses the main features of their properties and design. 

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