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Defining 'Bioplastics'

SpecialChem / Jennifer Markarian – Mar 30, 2009

'Bioplastics' is an industry-accepted term, although its definition is not always clear. There is a Bioplastics Magazine, a "Green and Bio-Plastics" channel on Omnexus, and many bioplastics organizations, including the European Bioplastics Association, the Japan BioPlastics Association (formerly the Biodegradable Plastics Society, Japan), and the Australasian Bioplastics Association. In North America, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) formed a Bioplastics Council in 2008 with a mission to educate the industry and government agencies about bioplastics and promote the industry's growth. As part of their educational efforts, the Council plans to publish a terminology guide this spring. "Individuals often interchange the terms bioplastics, biodegradable, and biobased, for example, and don't necessarily understand the similarities and differences. Using terms incorrectly or inconsistently can lead to confusion," notes Melissa Hockstad, SPI vice president and director of the Bioplastics Council.

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