At present, plastics are widely used in agriculture, industry and daily use, which provide enough convenience for human life. However, plastics have a long degradation time, white pollution, ecological environment damage and other problems. In order to solve this problem, degradable plastics emerge as the times require.
Degradable plastics refer to plastics which are easily degraded in natural environment by adding a certain amount of additives (such as starch, modified starch or other cellulose, photosensitizers, biodegradable agents, etc.).
The market price of biodegradable plastics is 2-3 times that of ordinary plastics. If sold successfully, the profit level is 10%, while the profit level of ordinary plastics is 1-3%.
Although the profit level is high, the sales resistance of degradable plastics is high. First, the cost is high, the capital occupied is large, and the downstream enterprises’acceptance ability is poor. Second, the degradable plastics have a certain shelf life. If the sales of enterprises are not smooth, the loss risk of enterprises is high. The main source of the problem is high cost and weak market acceptance.
At present, degradable plastics are still in the stage of publicity and promotion, and the degree of marketization is not high. The proportion of degradable plastics used in domestic plastic products such as disposable water cups, lunch boxes, knives and forks in the catering industry is relatively high, while the utilization rate of degradable plastics in industry and agriculture is relatively low. In the long run, domestic awareness of environmental protection has been strengthened, and the use of degradable plastics has been broadened; the demand for environmental protection materials has increased abroad, and the export of degradable plastics has increased; the production process of domestic degradable plastics is becoming more and more mature, and the cost is gradually reduced to the acceptable range downstream; with the maturity of various conditions, it can be used. Degradable plastics still have broad prospects for development.
It is reported that developed countries and regions such as Europe, the United States and Japan have formulated and promulgated relevant laws and regulations to restrict the use of non-degradable plastics through local bans, restrictions, compulsory collection and collection of pollution taxes, and vigorously develop new biodegradable materials to protect the environment and soil. France issued a policy in 2005 that all disposable plastic bags must be biodegradable after 2010.
The European Union beverage and food packaging materials industry is one of the most obvious energy and resource waste industries. The annual production demand of packaging materials reaches 67 million tons, consuming energy resources, most of which pose a serious threat to the ecological environment. The waste water discharged by the modern juice and beverage processing industry is rich in fermentable sugars such as glucose, fructose and maltose. Fermentable sugars, which account for more than 70% of the organic matter concentration in wastewater, are ideal and cheap raw materials for biodegradable polymers.
It is reported that biopolymer beverage bottles or food packaging materials have been successfully developed by foreign research and development teams. Their superior properties, such as mechanical strength, ease of large-scale processing, water resistance, steam resistance and water contact insolubility, have been repeatedly tested and verified, including the packaging of drinks and new materials during food storage. Food stability, safety and quality. To be sure, biodegradable polymers are the world’s most perfect beverage and food packaging materials.
Scientists and technicians believe that the “five in one" innovative technology and production technology, which combines low-cost raw and processed materials of biopolymers, effectively reduces the discharge of organic pollutants in wastewater, reduces energy and resource consumption, slows down the greenhouse gas effect and improves the economic and social benefits of enterprises, will further promote the green economy of the European Union and the world at large. Sustainable development. At present, the R&D team is working on other potential applications of new materials, mainly focusing on the development and application of cosmetics and automotive parts.
Promoted by renewable and degradable trends, the global packaging market demand for degradable plastics will reach 9.45 million tons in 2023, with an average annual composite growth rate of 33%. The market of degradable plastic packaging is huge, and the demand of food packaging accounts for more than 70% of the market of degradable plastic packaging.