One of these innovations is certainly the conversion to bioplastics, materials with physical characteristics similar to plastic, but derived from raw materials of biological origin. Retaining the same elastic properties and ease of melting, they have proven to be an excellent substitute for packaging, disposable products and all other plastic items.
Bioplastics are usually composed of organic biomass such as maize, cereals and beets, combined with a varying percentage of fossil-based matter. Depending on the different compositions and structure of the resulting material, bioplastics can be biodegradable and/or compostable.
The term "biodegradable" refers to a substance that, being composed of biomass, undergoes the process of decomposition within a short time frame of a few months to a few years. Obviously, plastics are also absorbed by the environment, but the degradation time varies from a hundred to a thousand years, during which time the plastic micro-particles disperse, polluting the land and seas.
The term 'compostable', on the other hand, refers to the same type of process, with the particularity that the material does not release toxic substances during decomposition.