3 Bioplastics borrowed from the microbe world
Nature is a vast mine of diverse materials. One of them are polymers produced by micro-organisms. Some can be effectively used as replacements of traditional plastics. Microbes come forward when producing substitutes of polystyrene foam, artificial leather and polymers used for manufacturing bottles, plastic bags and other disposable packaging. Plasticity of these biological materials makes them applicable in many areas of our lives, and their biodegradability will surely add to protecting our unique planet. This article presents four alternative materials synthesised by micro-organisms. The first part describes two, which can replace polystyrene foam or crafting leather. Further, the text depicts polymers directly and indirectly derived from bacteria, which are the main area of the author’s research – polylactic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoates.
Keywords: bioplastics, bacterial cellulose, polylactic acid, 3D print