Advances in scientific technology in the early twentieth century have facilitated the development of synthetic plastics that are lightweight, rigid, and can be easily molded into a desirable shape without changing their material properties. Thus, plastics become ubiquitous and indispensable materials that are used in various manufacturing sectors, including clothing, automotive, medical, and electronic industries. However, strong physical durability and chemical stability of synthetic plastics, most of which are produced from fossil fuels, hinder their complete degradation when they are improperly discarded after use. In addition, accumulated plastic wastes without degradation have caused severe environmental problems, such as microplastics pollution and plastic islands. Thus, the usage and production of plastics is not free from environmental pollution or resource depletion. In order to lessen the impact of climate change and reduce plastic pollution, it is necessary to understand and address the current plastic life cycles. In this review, “sustainable biopolymers” are suggested as a promising solution to the current plastic crisis. The desired properties of sustainable biopolymers and bio-based and bio/chemical hybrid technologies for the development of sustainable biopolymers are mainly discussed.
- plastics recycling