Bioplastics miss the mark on chemicals content


In Germany, researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt and PlastX have found that bioplastics contain toxic chemicals similar to those found in petrochemical plastics.

The team investigated 43 biodegradable and biobased products, including wine corks, drinking bottles, chocolate packaging, and disposable tableware. Analysis showed that 80% of products contained over a thousand chemical substances.

“Three-quarters of the products contained harmful chemicals,” says Lisa Zimmermann of Goethe University Frankfurt. “This means that the products contain chemicals that have toxic effects in cells or act like hormones. The same is true for conventional plastics. Again, we found that three out of four products contained harmful chemicals.” Cellulose and starch-based products contained the most chemicals, she added.

The results were published in a  recent issue of Environment International.