It is often made from plants, recycled materials and various forms of organic matter, promising many advantages and an ecological advantage over traditional plastic. What's more, its production is supposed to consume less energy, products made of it decompose faster and thus protect the environment. Unfortunately, as suggested by the latest research, not everything looks so wonderful, because it seems that these treatments do not affect toxicity in any way, which is why bioplastic has as much toxin content as traditional ones.
The research was carried out by German scientists from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and is the largest ever dealing with the topic. In their course, scientists focused on 43 different types of bioplastic products, such as drink bottles, wine corks and disposable cutlery, and as it quickly turned out, most of them contained thousands of different chemicals: - 80% of these products contained more than 1,000 different chemicals. Some of them even 20,000 - explains Martin Wagner from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, co-author of the study.
The most chemicals were found in bioplastic made of cellulose and starch, it was them that caused the strongest toxic reactions in laboratory in vitro tests, which was confirmed by mass spectrometry and bioassay, i.e. a biological test for determining the concentration or potency of a substance based on its effect on living cells or tissue.
What's more, scientists have found that in the case of these properties, bioplastics can be compared to traditional ones, because they hardly differ in terms of toxicity. "Three out of four plastic products contain substances considered to be hazardous under laboratory conditions, just like traditional plastic," adds Wagner. In short, bioplastics will have to be examined more closely so that it does not turn out that by protecting the environment, we actually harm it, and at the same time poison ourselves.