Are biodegradable polymers a solution to the microplastic issue?

, Agarwal Seema.

The stability of polymers against chemicals, hydrolysis, temperature, light, and microbes has challenged society to accumulate plastic waste and its management worldwide. Large amounts of plastic litter accumulate in the environment and disintegrate into microplastic (MP) (small pieces in size less than 5mm), a topic of actual concern for products and applications where the plastics are used for a short time before becoming waste and where they are difficult to recover after use and stay/arrives in the environment. Can biodegradable polymers be one of the solutions to the problem of plastic waste/microplastic issue is a question very often raised in this context. Although the use of biodegradable polymers appears to be highly promising based on recent and past studies, but several aspects need to be considered further regarding environmental sustainability, acceptability, and degradability in the complex natural environment. Intensive efforts need to be invested in developing new, environmentally degradable biodegradable polymers and smart mechanisms of degradation after use in the environment. I want to discuss in the talk the potential role of the classified biodegradable polymers in creating and solving the microplastic issue, their impact on the environment based on the experimental data.

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