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Recommend a good introduction to bioplastics?

by Green Plastics


Here is an example of one of the most common types of emails that we receive here at Green Plastics:

I am a student and just beginning to learn about chemistry. Is there a good simple website that I can go to find out the basics about bioplastics? Every site that I find online either doesn’t have any chemistry information at all, or it’s way too technical or advanced.  Is there anything out there for people who want to learn about what bioplastics are really about, but aren’t “industry insiders” already?

This is a great question, and in fact this is exactly what we are all about: being an information resource for students and people who are just beginning to learn about the science of bioplastics.

If you are looking online, my first recommendation would be the website Green Plastics: Definitions, concepts and explanations about bioplastics. This is set up basically like Wikipedia, with a lot of introductory articles about basic concepts, defining (for example) things like what plastics are, what a biopolymer is, and how bioplastics are different from regular plastics, and so on.  It also has some good discussions of background terms that are important to understand like biodegradation and renewable resource.  The website is deliberately written to give you some science, but to not be overwhelming for beginners.

Green Plastics BookIf you want a little more, and are willing to go beyond the internet, I would recommend the book, Green Plastics: An Introduction to the New Science of Biodegradable Plastics written by E. S. Stevens. It has some chemical formulas, some recipes for making bioplastics at home, and a lot of very basic chemistry information so that you can learn about things like degradability, composting, and the basic chemical make-up of bioplastics.

Finally, of course it would be wrong of me not to recommend this site! Browse through our discussion section, and you will see a lot of basic questions that we have answered over the years. A lot of them are written exactly at the level for introductory students (highschool and college) who want to learn more about the chemistry of bioplastics, including things like what is the chemical formula for bioplastic and what is the role of vinegar in making bioplastic?

And of course, if you don’t see your question answered on here already, don’t be too shy to ask! That’s what we’re here for.

Good luck in your research!

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