New trends for plastics

Bioplastics are a promising alternative to conventional plastics. Nowadays, for almost all conventional plastic materials and their applications, there is a bioplastic alternative.

Bioplastics have the same properties as conventional plastics, and offer extra advantages, including a lower carbon footprint or a wider array of waste management options, such as composting. According to European Bioplastics, plastics are defined as bioplastics if they are either bio-based, biodegradable, or both. Bio-based plastics are materials made from biomass, whether in part or in their entirety. In most cases, these types of biomass are sugar, starch, or plant oils from biomass such as maize or sugar cane. Biodegradation is a chemical process by which microorganisms present in the environment transform materials into natural substances such as water, carbon dioxide or compost (without the need for artificial additives). Biodegradation depends on environmental conditions (e.g. location or temperature), on the material itself, and on its application. Biodegradability is determined not by the resource base of a material, but rather, by its chemicalstructure. In other words, 100% bio-based plastics may not be biodegradable, and 100% fossil-based plastics can be.

Leveraging Market Potential
By using bioplastics, a company takes a stand for sustainable development, and can position itself as an agent of innovation. Furthermore, introducing new products made from renewable plastics attracts media attention and helps companies stand out from their competitors. However, currently, bioplastics account for just about one percent of the estimated 360 million tonnes of plastic produced worldwide every year. As demand is rising and increasingly sophisticated biopolymers, applications and products are created, the bioplastics market is constantly growing and diversifying. Bioplastics allow for a wide variety of applications from beverage bottles in the packaging segment to keyboards in entertainment electronics, and even interior parts in the automotive sector. Many bioplastics contain additives needed to achieve specific properties. SWARCOFORCE glass filler beads contribute to optimizing the properties of bioplastics. In that respect, the purpose is to reinforce the bioplastics. SWARCOFORCE glass filler beads optimize and increase their pressure resistance as well as their abrasion and scratch resistance. They reduce warping and shrinking, and improve surface appearance.