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Open AccessReview

Biodegradation of Wasted Bioplastics in Natural and Industrial Environments: A Review

1
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, dell’Energia, dell’Ambiente e dei Materiali, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, I-89122 Reggio Calabria, Italy
2
Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67132 Xanthi, Greece
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6030; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156030
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 23 July 2020 / Accepted: 24 July 2020 / Published: 27 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biorefining of Biowaste)
The problems linked to plastic wastes have led to the development of biodegradable plastics. More specifically, biodegradable bioplastics are the polymers that are mineralized into carbon dioxide, methane, water, inorganic compounds, or biomass through the enzymatic action of specific microorganisms. They could, therefore, be a suitable and environmentally friendly substitute to conventional petrochemical plastics. The physico-chemical structure of the biopolymers, the environmental conditions, as well as the microbial populations to which the bioplastics are exposed to are the most influential factors to biodegradation. This process can occur in both natural and industrial environments, in aerobic and anaerobic conditions, with the latter being the least researched. The examined aerobic environments include compost, soil, and some aquatic environments, whereas the anaerobic environments include anaerobic digestion plants and a few aquatic habitats. This review investigates both the extent and the biodegradation rates under different environments and explores the state-of-the-art knowledge of the environmental and biological factors involved in biodegradation. Moreover, the review demonstrates the need for more research on the long-term fate of bioplastics under natural and industrial (engineered) environments. However, bioplastics cannot be considered a panacea when dealing with the elimination of plastic pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioplastics; bio-based; biodegradation; aerobic; anaerobic; aquatic; environment bioplastics; bio-based; biodegradation; aerobic; anaerobic; aquatic; environment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Folino, A.; Karageorgiou, A.; Calabrò, P.S.; Komilis, D. Biodegradation of Wasted Bioplastics in Natural and Industrial Environments: A Review. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6030. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156030

AMA Style

Folino A, Karageorgiou A, Calabrò PS, Komilis D. Biodegradation of Wasted Bioplastics in Natural and Industrial Environments: A Review. Sustainability. 2020; 12(15):6030. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156030

Chicago/Turabian Style

Folino, Adele; Karageorgiou, Aimilia; Calabrò, Paolo S.; Komilis, Dimitrios. 2020. "Biodegradation of Wasted Bioplastics in Natural and Industrial Environments: A Review" Sustainability 12, no. 15: 6030. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156030

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