Is BOPP film biodegradable? 

The article will discuss  the biodegradability of BOPP film and will also shed light on:

  • Is BOPP film biodegradable?
  • Is BOPP film compostable?
  • Is BOPP film eco-friendly?
  • What is the best way to dispose of  BOPP film?
  • Is BOPP film plastic?
  • Is BOPP film suitable for single use?

Is BOPP film biodegradable?

BOPP film is not biodegradable because it is a type of plastic. BOPP expands to Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene and propylene is a fossil-fuel derivative. 

Biodegradation is the breakdown that is caused by the degradative actions of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, and other decomposers. For these microbes to render their degradative actions, there has to be natural and organic material that can be ingested by the microbes. 

However, in the case of BOPP, both conditions are missing. Polypropylene is a synthetic polymer that is made from the derivatives of fossil fuels and is regarded as a petroleum-based product. 

This Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene does not contain the necessary nutritional content and therefore is termed non-biodegradable.

Can BOPP be composted?

When people ask about biodegradability, they also inquire about composting as well because it is a general rule of thumb that materials that can be degraded by microbes can also be composted. 

However, since BOPP films can not be degraded by the action of microbes, the same can be said about composting too as there is a lot of similarity between the two processes. 

It is not advised to put BOPP in composting bins because the microbes will not degrade it into compost and it can potentially damage the soil instead of providing composting benefits.  

Is BOPP film eco-friendly?

The answer to this question can be given through two frames. One is the absolute frame and the other is the comparative frame.

Absolute frame 

In terms of the absolute frame, BOPP can not be called eco-friendly because it is derived from petroleum and is termed fossil-fuel derived. This means that to make BOPP, there is an expense of emissions of greenhouse gases that result in environmental anomalies such as global warming, unprecedented weather patterns, change in global temperature, and deforestation to name a few. 

Also, the BOPP film will be non-biodegradable because if not disposed of properly, it could contribute to the waste problem greatly. 

Also, there could be other environmental anomalies rendered by the inapt disposal of BOPP films such as land and water pollution. BOPP is considered a single-use plastic and this is another factor why BOPP can not be given the status of being eco-friendly. 

In these contexts, BOPP film can not be given the status of eco-friendly chiefly because the film is made of propylene which is non-natural and considered bad for the environment. 

The comparative frame (7 reasons)

In terms of the comparative frame, BOPP can be given the status of being more eco-friendly as compared to conventional polypropylene because there are certain discrepancies that make the BOPP film more usable and hence add to the utility value which directly impacts the environmental value. 

This is said because if something is made more durable and long-lasting (the utilitarian aspects) these aspects can contribute to the generation of less waste because high utility means longer life and subsequently less waste. 

The reason why BOPP offers this discrepancy is that when it is made, it is pulled in axial directions to provide the necessary features such as transparency, strength, and durability. 

Owing to these discrepancies in terms of production, BOPP can be given the status of being more eco-friendly as compared to conventional polypropylene because it is: 

  • Durable 
  • Water-resistant 
  • Long-lasting 
  • Heat-resistant
  • Better applications
  • Less waste generation 
  • Easier and more accessible recycling 

What is the best way to dispose of BOPP films?

There is a common question that everyone asks when it comes to the topic of non-biodegradable material because it is known openly that non-biodegradable material will contribute more to environmental problems and that you can not dispose of them in regular trash cans. 

Therefore, the best way to dispose of BOPP films is to recycle them because recycling is considered to be one of the best ways to deal with non-biodegradable waste such as BOPP films. 

When BOPP films are recycled, they are not needed to be made from scratch. This saves the need to make BOPP from scratch and this means decreased emissions of GHGs into the environment. 

Another advantage that is offered by the recycling of BOPP films is that when BOPP films are recycled, there is a decreased consumption of energy which is usually sourced from non-renewable sources. 

This also leads to a decrease in the emission of GHGs into the atmosphere and thus, saving the environment from a lot of environmental anomalies. 

Another advantage of recycling BOPP films is that you can recycle BOPP films as many times as you like and this way, there would not be any compromise on the quality or utility of BOPP films. 

How to recycle BOPP films?

It is not only about the theory but also about practicality. Therefore, let us discuss some of the ways to recycle BOPP films. 

Some of the ways that you can pursue recycling BOPP films include:

  • Disposing of BOPP films in recycling bins so that the recycling (curbside) may take care of it 
  • Dropping the BOPP films to the recycling centres nearby to have the films recycled 
  • Using a recycling locator to act as a qiblah. 
  • Contacting other organisations for recycling such as TerraCycle and scheduling a pickup either from local recycling centres or private recycling organisations (which may also charge you a bit) 

Is BOPP plastic?

Yes, BOPP expands to Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene and propylene is a fossil-fuel derivative. However, BOPP can be given the status of being more eco-friendly as compared to conventional polypropylene (a plastic) because there are certain discrepancies that make the BOPP film more usable and hence add to the utility value which directly impacts the environmental value. 

These include being more durable, strong, water-resistant, heat-resistant, and better in terms of recycling. 

If something is made more durable and long-lasting (the utilitarian aspects) these aspects can contribute to the generation of less waste because high utility means longer life and subsequently less waste. 

Is BOPP suitable for single use?

Yes, BOPP is single-use plastic and must be disposed of after use. However, we have discussed that it is always better to prefer recycling over disposal because recycling is more sustainable as compared to throwing away trash cans. 

People usually wonder if BOPP is a single-use plastic or not because many plastics (such as plastic bags) are intended for a single-use only. 

As per research, about 40% of the plastics made are intended for a single-use only and have to be thrown away after that because they are not in the condition to be used again. 

This creates negative pressure on the environment and also adds to the waste problem faced by the world at large. 

This is another reason why the recycling of BOPP is asserted because it is one of the very few ways to ensure that there are no blunt negative effects of BOPP on the environment. 

Conclusion 

It is concluded that BOPP film is not biodegradable because it is a type of plastic. BOPP expands to Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene and propylene is a fossil-fuel derivative. 

BOPP is better than propylene ) because there are certain discrepancies that make the BOPP film more usable and hence add to the utility value which directly impacts the environmental value. 

However, being single-use plastic, non-biodegradable, and non-compostable, BOPP can not be called eco-friendly. The best way to dispose of BOPP films is to recycle them because recycling is considered to be one of the best ways to deal with non-biodegradable waste such as BOPP films. 

References

  • Sivan, A. (2011). New perspectives in plastic biodegradation. Current opinion in biotechnology, 22(3), 422-426.
  • Shimao, M. (2001). Biodegradation of plastics. Current opinion in biotechnology, 12(3), 242-247.

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