Materials and Publications

Fact Sheet: Bioplastics, biobased plastics and plastics with biodegradable properties 101

Pacific Island countries, like others around the world, are evaluating their plastics use. The global bioplastics market (bio-based and/or biodegradable plastics) is projected to increase in the next decade, with their use in a range of sectors including agriculture/horticulture, aquaculture, fisheries, and food and non-food packaging. While in restricted and specific applications they may bring some advantages over conventional durable fossil-based plastics, caution is required to ensure these materials do not become regrettable substitutions, presenting hazards to organisms and human health, or contributing to social, economic and environmental burdens.

This fact sheet explains the sometimes inconsistent use of the various terms: bioplastics, biobased plastics and plastics with biodegradable properties – and why it is crucial that the Global Plastics Treaty address this topic.

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