Recent Advances in Bioplastics: Application and Biodegradation
The success of oil-based plastics and the continued growth of production and utilisation can be attributed to their cost, durability, strength to weight ratio, and eight contributions to the ease of everyday life. However, their mainly single use, durability and recalcitrant nature have led to a substantial increase of plastics as a fraction of municipal solid waste. The need to substitute single use products that are not easy to collect has inspired a lot of research towards finding sustainable replacements for oil-based plastics. In addition, specific physicochemical, biological, and degradation properties of biodegradable polymers have made them attractive materials for biomedical applications. This review summarises the advances in drug delivery systems, specifically design of nanoparticles based on the biodegradable polymers. We also discuss the research performed in the area of biophotonics and challenges and opportunities brought by the design and application of biodegradable polymers in tissue engineering. We then discuss state-of-the-art research in the design and application of biodegradable polymers in packaging and emphasise the advances in smart packaging development. Finally, we provide an overview of the biodegradation of these polymers and composites in managed and unmanaged environments.