Testing and quality assurance of bioplastics
Plastics have become an indispensable part of human life. These are high molecular weight polymers that can be molded into desired shapes such as films, trays, bottles, and jars using heat and pressure. These are now rivals to metals in breadth of use and in severity of applications because of their flexibility, toughness, excellent barrier and physical properties, and their ease of fabrication (Fang and Fowler 2003; Orhan et al. 2004). The use of fossil fuels such as naphtha and natural gas for producing plastics accounts for about 4% to 5% of the world's oil consumption, with the demand increasing in the future. Society has challenged this demand in order to reduce the exploitation of fossil fuel and to protect the climate through the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) released as well as to preserve the environment from the harmful effects of indiscriminate plastic disposal. These issues, especially the disposal of plastic wastes in the environment, stimulated a demand for harmless, eco-friendly, and biodegradable materials. This then evolved into the adoption of the recycling concept through mechanical recovery and composting of wastes or energy production by plastic incineration, which directly contribute toward a reduction in the consumption of fossil raw materials in industry (Yulianaet al. 2012). However, the focus then began to shift to plastic production using natural biopolymers as replacements for petrochemical substances. Biopolymers derived from various natural resources have been regarded as alternative materials to petroleum plastic because they are abundant, renewable, inexpensive, and biodegradable (Liu et al. 2005).
Wani, Ali Abas