Plastics are the primary polymer used worldwide due to their properties such as lightweight, flexible and low-cost production. However, plastics associated with durability have become the great cause of environmental damages as it requires long-time for degradation. The increase in one-time usage of petroleum-based plastics leads to environmental problems such as increasing the carbon prints through incineration to diminish the plastic, chemical release in oceans and pest problems in the landfill area. The production of plastic has caused 93% of plastic waste disposed of in landfills and oceans. Thus, bioplastics offer a sustainable alternative for petroleum-based plastics that are more prone to biodegradation.
Microalgae is a natural, renewable, and non-feedstock source that is not costly as a carbon source used in bacterial fermentation. It has a high yield of production, yields a tremendous amount of storage compound per unit area, and can be cultivated in an unsuitable area for conventional agriculture such as brackish water and wastewater. It fills the gaps where a cheap carbon source can produce polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) for bioplastic production.
ASSOC. PROF ChM. TS. DR. WONG YEE CHING