Plastic is as essential as its current manufacture is unsustainable. But locals are making big strides towards sustainability.

Ask someone (except perhaps a chemical engineer) what bioplastic is and the common answer will be plastic that is made from plants and is biodegradable. If only it was that simple.

The Australasian Bioplastics Association says that bioplastic comes in many forms, and that it is the chemical structure of theĀ  plastic that determines whether it is biodegradable, not the source material. It may not even be made from plants.

Among the variations are bioplastics made from plant material that are not biodegradable, and plastics created with fossil fuels that are called biodegradable because they include a pro-oxidant, such as manganese, to help speed up the fragmentation process.

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