Biopolymer and bioplastic degradation, recycling and environmental fate

Microorganisms from diverse taxa, including Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes, can degrade bioplastics. These microbes are distributed throughout many ecosystems, including terrestrial and marine soil, compost facilities and even insect guts. The main recycling technologies, which are examined, are sorting, mechanical recycling, chemical recycling (hydrolysis, alcoholysis, and thermal depolymerization with catalysts) and the relatively new enzymatic depolymerization of biopolymers. However, there is a need to assess the true health and environmental impact of using biopolymers because they have also been connected to significant health and environmental problems like greenhouse gas emissions and adverse land use change.

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