“Bioplastics” are often marketed as a more environmentally friendly alternative to the conventional, petroleum-based plastics with which we’re all too familiar. Bioplastics can be made from renewable feedstock and can also be biodegradable or both. But are these biomaterials safer than the conventional plastics? What chemicals do they contain? In a study published recently, researchers addressed these questions and investigated the toxicity of extracts from bioplastics and plant-based food contact materials. They analysed everyday products made of bio-based and/or biodegradable materials and concluded that there is similar toxicity among bio-based, biodegradable and conventional plastics.
Read the paper: Zimmermann L., Dombrowski A., Völker C. and Wagner M. (2020). Are bioplastics and plant-based materials safer than conventional plastics? In vitro toxicity and chemical composition. Environmental International; 145:106066. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106066