Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), green alternatives to petroleum-based plastics: a review
In spite of the fact that petroleum-based plastics are convenient in terms of fulfilling the performance requirements of many applications, they contribute significantly to a number of ecological and environmental problems. Recently, the public awareness of the negative effects of petroleum-based plastics on the environment has increased. The present utilization of natural resources cannot be sustained forever. Furthermore, oil is often subjected to price fluctuations and will eventually be depleted. The increase in the level of carbon dioxide due to the combustion of fossil fuel is causing global warming. Concerns about preservation of natural resources and climate change are considered worldwide motivations for academic and industrial researchers to reduce the consumption and dependence on fossil fuel. Therefore, bio-based polymers are moving towards becoming the favorable option to be utilized in polymer manufacturing, food packaging, and medical applications. This paper represents an overview of the feasibility of both Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) as alternative materials that can replace petroleum-based polymers in a wide range of industrial applications. Physical, thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties of both polymers as well as their permeability and migration properties have been reviewed. Moreover, PLA's recyclability, sustainability, and environmental assessment have been also discussed. Finally, applications in which both polymers can replace petroleum-based plastics have been explored and provided.
- This article is part of the themed collections: 2021 Reviews in RSC Advances and Food Packaging