Biodegradability of Conventional Plastics

Biodegradability of Conventional Plastics

Opportunities, Challenges, and Misconceptions

1st Edition - July 1, 2022

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  • Editors: Anjana Sarkar, Bhasha Sharma, Shashank Shekhar
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323898584

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Biodegradability of Conventional Plastics: Opportunities, Challenges, and Misconceptions brings together innovative research on the biodegradability of conventional plastics, providing an extensive overview of approaches and strategies that may be implemented, while also highlighting other methods for alleviating the eventual environmental impact of plastics. The book begins by providing a lifecycle assessment of plastics, the environmental impact of plastic waste, and the factors that affect the biodegradability of plastics. The different categories and terminologies surrounding bio-based plastics and biodegradable plastics are then defined and explained in detail, as are the issues surrounding bioplastics. Other sections discuss biodegradability, approaches for enhanced biodegradability of various major types of plastics, including polyolefins, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene, poly(vinyl chloride), automotive plastics and composites, and agricultural plastic waste. The final part of the book focuses on further techniques and emerging areas, including the utilization of chemical additives, nanomaterials, the role of microbes in terms of microbial degradation and microbial attaching, revalorization of plastic waste through industrial biotechnology, and future opportunities and challenges.

Key Features

  • Explains the fundamentals of plastic waste, lifecycle assessment and factors that influence the biodegradability of plastics
  • Provides novel techniques for improved biodegradability, exploring areas such as pre-treatment, chemical additives, nanomaterials and microbial degradation
  • Addresses current challenges and limitations in relation to bio-based and biodegradable plastics, microplastics and nanoplastics from bioplastics and plastic waste


Researchers, scientists, and advanced students in polymer science, plastics engineering, bio-based materials, nanomaterials, chemistry, biotechnology, environmental science, and materials science and engineering. R&D, engineers, and industrialists looking to develop plastics materials with increased biodegradability or interested in plastics and sustainability

Table of Contents

  • 1. Life cycle assessment and environmental impact of plastic waste
    2. Composition, properties, and other factors that influence the biodegradability of plastics
    3. Bioplastics, biodegradable plastics, and degradation in natural environments
    4. Overview of bioplastics: Are bioplastics the panacea for our environmental woes?
    5. Generation and impact of microplastics and nanoplastics from bioplastic sources
    6. Biodegradability of synthetic plastics: Standpoint for effective degradation mechanisms
    7. Biodegradability of polyolefins
    8. Biodegradability and current status of polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
    9. Biodegradability and bioremediation of polystyrene based pollutants
    10. Biodegradability of poly (vinyl chloride)
    11. Biodegradability of automotive plastics and composites
    12. Biodegradability of agricultural plastic waste
    13. Utilization of chemical additives to enhance biodegradability of plastics
    14. The role of nanomaterials in the biodegradability of plastics
    15. Microbial degradation of synthetic plastics
    16. Microbial attach studies on plastic “specific” microorganisms
    17. Plastic waste to plastic value workflow: The role of industrial biotechnology
    18. Future prospects for the biodegradability of conventional plastics

Product details

  • No. of pages: 500
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2022
  • Published: July 1, 2022
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323898584

About the Editors

Anjana Sarkar

Anjana Sarkar, Head of Department and Professor, Department of Chemistry, Netaji Subhas University of Technology, Delhi, India Prof. Anjana Sarkar is currently Head of the Department of Chemistry at Netaji Subhas University of Technology. With 37 years of teaching and research experience at Netaji Subhas University of Technology, she has published various papers in national and international journals. Prof. Sarkar completed an AICTE sponsored R&D project on ‘Ternary Complexes of Transition Metal Ions with Novel Biomolecular like Kojic Acid & L-Amino acid: Synthesis & Study of Physicochemical Properties and their Bio-efficacy’, and has been awarded “Woman of the Year 1998” by the American Biographical Institute, North Carolina, USA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor and Head of Department, Department of Chemistry, Netaji Subhas University of Technology, Delhi, India

Bhasha Sharma

Bhasha Sharma is an Assistant Professor in the department of Chemistry Shivaji College, University of Delhi, India. She received her BSc (2011) in Polymer Sciences from the University of Delhi. Dr. Sharma completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2019. Her research interests revolve around sustainable polymers for packaging applications, environmental benign approaches for biodegradation of plastic wastes, fabrication of bionanocomposites, and finding strategies to ameliorate the electrochemical activity of biopolymers.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor in Department of Chemistry, Shivaji College, University of Delhi, India

Shashank Shekhar

Shashank Shekhar Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Netaji Subhas University of Technology, Delhi, India Dr. Shashank Shekhar is currently an Assistant Professor at Netaji Subhas University of Technology and is also associated with the Quantum Research Centre of Excellence as Associate Director in the Department of Renewable Energy. He completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Delhi. Dr. Shekhar has been working on biopolymers and Schiff base metal complexes for the last 5 years and has published articles in reputed international journals.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Netaji Subhas University of Technology, Delhi, India

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