Materials that instead of being made from petroleum, are come partially or totally from renewable sources, providing the mechanical properties of traditional plastics.
Its main benefit is cutting down the consumption of plastics made from petroleum, hence reducing CO2 emissions into the environment
An example of renewable source is plant biomass, such as cellulose from natural fibers or cornstarch, among others.
Is the bioplastic biodegradable?
Bioplastics may be: a) biobased, b) biodegradable or c) both:
A common misunderstanding about bioplastics is that "biobased compounds" and "biodegradable" are linked, when actually they are not.
The term biobased refers to the beginning of life of a product, it refers to its origin. When a material or product has a biological base, it means that there are renewable resources in its composition, unlike regular plastics made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource.
The contents of a biobased compound come partly or entirely from renewable sources, such as plants or animals.
Biodegradable refers to the end of life of a product. That is, when discarded, microorganisms manage to break it down into CO2 and water, thus integrating it fully into the environment.
Biodegradable plastics degrade completely into carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), water (H20) and biomass through a biological process in a defined environment and a specific time scale. Essentially, they will completely break down via natural processes in a short period of time.
A bioplastic that is biobased may not necessarily be biodegradable, and a biodegradable bioplastic may not be biobased.
Are Penka® products biodegradable?
Penka® straws and cutlery are biobased and biodegradable, that is, they are
made with plants and when thrown into landfills, they will biodegrade in contact with bacteria and microorganisms. Their process will take from one to five years, depending on landfill conditions.
Some other products manufactured by Penka are biobased and reusable. They were designed to be used many times, therefore avoiding single-use disposable products. They generate less waste, as stated by the “ZeroWaste” principles.
The biobased certificate complies with ASTM D6866 and the biodegradability certificate complies with ASTM D5111.
What type of biomass is used in Penka® products?
All our products use cellulose-rich fibers, a byproduct of agro-industrial processes in Mexico. We work mainly with Blue Agaves, transforming their “waste fibers” into everyday materials.
Our goal is to make sustainable products from bioplastics that do NOT come from food sources.
How many agave plants are cut to make your products?
No agave plants have been harvested, wasted or harmed to create our products.
We work with the bagasse generated in the process of transforming agaves to produce tequila or syrup. Bagasse is an abundant byproduct which also may become a problem for producers as it must be disposed of properly and in a controlled manner.
More than 3,000kg of industry by-products are used to make a ton of Penka® products.