In August 2015, a marine biologist at Texas A&M University released a video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose bleeding and tears on YouTube. In July 2017, the Chinese government announced a ban on plastic scrap imports, causing severe disruption to plastic recycling systems in each country.
Although regulations on conventional ovarian plastics are on the rise worldwide due to global warming and environmental pollution, it is hard to imagine the world without plastics in terms of daily life and industry.
Currently, policy priorities around the world are based on 1) Reduce, 2) Recycling, 3) Reuse, and 4) Replacement. In particular, in Europe, management policies such as reduction of source, recycling inducement, and restriction of the combustible waste landfill are implemented in accordance with the Packaging and Packaging Waste guidelines. Countries are pushing for a fundamental reduction in the use of polymers, such as plastics, and inducing reduction, recycling, and reuse in cases of unavoidable use. As a result, bio-plastics are drawing attention as an alternative to plastics. Bio-plastics are bio-based polymers manufactured using biological resources such as plant biomass, which are called eco-friendly plastics, green plastics, and environmental-conscious plastics. Since bioplastics mean the entire biomass-based polymer plastic, they include materials that reduce carbon dioxide by applying carbon-neutral plant biomass, as well as biodegradable plastics.
Reducing the use of polymers such as plastics is important, but plastic, in some way, is inevitable for everyday human life. Accordingly, it is time for bio-plastics-related research and industrialization, taking into account sustainable development that reflects both economic success, environmental protection, and the welfare of society.