Plastic Pollution: Are Bioplastics the Right Solution?

Cristina Mastrolia, Domenico Giaquinto, Christoph Gatz, Md Nahid Pervez, Shadi Wajih Hasan, Tiziano Zarra, Chi Wang Li, Vincenzo Belgiorno, Vincenzo Naddeo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The adverse effects of the accumulation of plastic on our planet are no longer sustainable; plastic is a major threat to all forms of life in all environments in addition to contributing to global warming. The academic world has been focusing on registering the damages caused by plastic pollution and finding solutions to refrain from and substitute plastic and its usages, which our consumer society is so heavily dependent on. A pathway towards limiting the use of plastic comes from the European Union 2019/904 Directive for limiting the production of single-use and oxo-degradable plastics. Currently, bioplastics are one of the major alternatives in substituting fossil-based plastics, but question remain about its use. as too what extent could bioplastics be a long-term solution to plastic pollution? Is it a misconception to consider bioplastics completely harmless to the environment? This short review article aims to draw attention to the counter effects connected to the limitations and mismanagement of bioplastics through their life cycle by collecting data not published until now. A review of several cradle-to-Grave Life Cycle Assessments has been made to analyse bioplastics from production to end-of-life options. The result produced from this review article shows that bioplastics do not represent a long-term solution to plastic pollution and, on the contrary, may seem to contribute to overall environmental endangerment. The novelty of this work lies in pointing out the misconception of bioplastics’ healthy effects on the environment by thoroughly analysing all environmental impacts of current production and disposal of bioplastics and by providing a more sustainable production of bioplastic through wastewater treatment plants.

Original languageBritish English
Article number3596
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • bioplastics
  • circular economy
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • microplastics
  • plastic pollution


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