Bioplastics are either: 1) made from a renewable resource such as corn or sugarcane (biobased), 2) break down completely via a natural process (biodegradable), or 3) are both biobased and biodegradable. They are used in the same ways as other plastics: packaging, agriculture, medical, automotive parts, 3D printing and more. 

Globally, over 1.7 million metric tons were produced in 2014 and contributed to $4.4 billion and 32,000 jobs in the U.S. Bioplastics are one of the fastest growing sectors of the plastics industry, with an anticipated 20-30% annual growth. Biodegradable plastics also reduce the amount of trash that is sent to landfills.

Want to learn more?
Bioplastics Simplified: Attributes of Biobased and Biodegradable Plastics
The term “bioplastics” describes a wide range of materials. This paper discusses the growing field of bioplastics, and how material innovations can offer environmental advantages. 

Latest Resources

Bioplastics: Plastics Market Watch
Bioplastics are plastics that either: originate from a renewable resource, are biodegradable, or are both. As new applications and technologies are developed, bioplastics represent an evolution within the plastics marketplace. Bioplastics are part of plastics’ growth story that is inspiring brand owners and manufacturers to find new applications and solutions for products.  

Industrial Compostability Claims Checklist
The Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guide provides direction to companies making claims about industrial compostability. This guidance document provides a handy checklist and examples about things to consider when putting them on product packaging.

Bioplastics Simplified: Attributes of Biobased and Biodegradable Plastics
The term “bioplastics” describes a wide range of materials. This paper discusses the growing field of bioplastics and how material innovations can offer environmental advantages.

Position Paper on Degradable Additives
This position paper outlines the issues and questions of concern in order to support consumers, retailers and the plastics industry in identifying unsubstantiated and misleading product claims around degradability and biodegradability of plastics. 

Additional Information

For more information about bioplastics or how to join the Bioplastics Division, contact Patrick Krieger, pkrieger@plasticsindustry.org, 202-974-5281.