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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Assignment: Biodegradable Food Packaging Materials

Assignment: Biodegradable Food Packaging Materials
Background
You have probably heard or read about the importance of biodegradable materials from
various television commercials, magazines, and newspapers, and you have some
knowledge of these materials. The term “biodegradable” has also been used to describe
effective food packaging.
Objective
The objective of this assignment is to learn about biodegradable materials and how they
can be used in food packaging.
Task
Choose a biodegradable packaging material that is already on the market or that you
believe could be used as a packaging material for specific foods or beverages in the
food industry, food services, local food vendors, or at any stage of the food supply
chain, and write a two-page summary of the packaging materials’ essential
characteristics.
You can concentrate on some of the following characteristics for your chosen
packaging material.
• biodegradable
• eco-friendly
• composability
• recyclable
• reusable
• non-toxic,
• made from recycled products
• based on biomass or natural products
• manufactured through low impact means
Please keep in mind that the assignment is an individual submission worth 15% of the
final grade. Please turn in your completed assignment by week 13 to the assigned
folder. A detailed rubric is associated with the assignment folder.

Introduction:

In today’s world, packaging has become an integral part of the food industry. However, the increased use of non-biodegradable materials has led to environmental pollution. Biodegradable packaging materials provide an eco-friendly solution to this problem. In this assignment, we will focus on one such biodegradable packaging material, i.e., “Bioplastics.” Bioplastics are a group of materials that are either biodegradable or biobased or both.

Essential Characteristics:

Biodegradable:

Bioplastics are biodegradable, which means they can decompose into natural elements such as water, carbon dioxide, and biomass within a specific time frame. Bioplastics have the advantage of biodegrading more quickly than traditional plastics, which can take hundreds of years to decompose.

Eco-friendly:

Bioplastics are eco-friendly because they are made from renewable resources such as corn, sugarcane, and potato starch. Using these materials to make bioplastics reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, which are non-renewable resources.

Composability:

Bioplastics are compostable, which means they can break down into organic material in the presence of microorganisms in a composting facility. Composting bioplastics reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills.

Recyclable:

Bioplastics are recyclable, just like traditional plastics. However, the recycling process for bioplastics is different than traditional plastics, and they need to be sorted separately.

Reusable:

Bioplastics can be reused multiple times, just like traditional plastics. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the biodegradable properties of bioplastics will reduce over time and with reuse.

Non-toxic:

Bioplastics are non-toxic and do not emit harmful chemicals into the environment during the production, use, or disposal stages.

Made from recycled products:

Some bioplastics are made from recycled products, such as recycled paper or recycled plastic bottles. Using recycled products reduces waste and conserves resources.

Manufactured through low impact means:

The manufacturing process for bioplastics is often less energy-intensive than traditional plastics. This process results in a lower carbon footprint and less greenhouse gas emissions.

Bioplastics provide a sustainable solution to the problem of non-biodegradable packaging materials in the food industry. They have several essential characteristics, including being biodegradable, eco-friendly, compostable, recyclable, reusable, non-toxic, made from recycled products, and manufactured through low impact means. Bioplastics are an excellent alternative for packaging food and beverages in the food industry, food services, local food vendors, and at any stage of the food supply chain.

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