Sustainable Bioplastics Derived from Renewable Natural Resources for Food Packaging

Xianhui Zhao, Ying Wang, Xiaowen Chen, Xinbin Yu, Wei Li, Shuyang Zhang, Xianzhi Meng, Zhi-Min Zhao, Tao Dong, Alexander Anderson, Antony Aiyedun, Yanfei Li, Erin Webb, Zili Wu, Vlastimil Kunc, Arthur Ragauskas, Soydan Ozcan, Hongli Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus Citations


Food packaging is one of the leading sectors for the end use of plastics. Bioplastic is produced from natural renewable resources such as crops, wood pulp, and herbaceous fibers. This article summarizes the rational design of bioplastics from natural resources for food packaging. The bioplastic properties considered include thermal properties, mechanical performance, oxygen/moisture resistance, and biodegradability. Bioplastic degradability and technologies for handling bioplastic waste are discussed. Various aspects of the sustainability of bioplastics (e.g., environmental profile, techno-economic analysis, and societal impact) are investigated. The main challenges of bioplastic application, such as low fracture strain and inferior barrier properties, are discussed. Mitigation approaches to overcome the mechanical properties of bioplastics, such as adding plasticizers, are also discussed. Bioplastic can have properties comparable with fossil-based plastics. Bioplastic can be an alternative to conventional plastic in most applications of food packaging, which can reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact because of its biodegradability.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)97-127
Number of pages31
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-85179


  • biodegradability
  • bioplastic
  • food packaging
  • natural resource
  • sustainability
  • waste recycling


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