Bioplastics – A Solution to Pollution?

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Millions of tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year, killing wildlife and releasing toxins. The scale of this pollution is only expected to increase in the coming decades. Along with approaches like single-use plastic bans and recycling mandates and incentives, the use of bioplastics—polymers made from biomass sources such as vegetable oils, corn starch, and woodchips—has entered the spotlight in recent years as a means of reducing plastic pollution and its impacts.

Proponents claim bioplastics can serve as a biodegradable and less carbon-intensive substitute for plastic, while also making use of materials like food scraps that might otherwise be discarded. Use remains minimal, however, due to the technology’s nascency and higher cost, raising the question of how viable a solution bioplastics present. Moreover, some experts caution that bioplastics may not be environmentally preferable after all, focusing on how some forms do not biodegrade more easily than conventional plastics, or because their production requires the use of land and resources that could otherwise be used to grow food for people.

Join the Environmental Law Institute, the Plant Based Products Council, and leading experts for an exploration of benefits and challenges of an emerging and potentially transformative technology.

This event is open to the public but you must register (there is a $50 fee for those who are not members of ELI).


Environmental Law Institute
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington DC 20036

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