By 2010, the annual plastic production was estimated to be three hundred million tones. Plastics are very crucial materials in this modern society since many products are made of plastics. For more than a thousand years back, the health sector used metal for surgical instruments, steel plates and dental implants. At the start of 20th century the demand for medical and health care services grew leading to a need for more sophisticated medical devices. After inventing devices made of ceramics and glass, the push for better technology for health care lead to the discovery of plastic products. Today, plastic products are of beneficial to the health sector, for example, the disposable syringes and intravenous bags. The advantage of plastic over metal, ceramic and glass is that, plastic is flexible and are resistant to chemicals.
Though plastic has been of beneficial, it poses serious health risks. Research and scientific consensus concerning plastic safety has been carried out for over 5 decades, but the opinions still vary widely. Some studies show that plastic toxics are accumulating in the bodies of humans and this is likely to cause adverse health effects such as birth defects, developmental problems cancers and suppression of the immune system. Due to the rising concerns about health, the plastic industries have started using a form of bio-based plasticizer in their products. A bio-based plasticizer is a better option to normal plastics since it decomposes relatively well and has less chemical effects.
Some types of plastics like polymers, acetone plastic and casein plastic are made naturally both from home and industry using readily available plasticizers. The carbon used to make these products is obtained from feedstock that is renewable through biological processes. The bio based materials are animal and plant masses derived from carbon dioxide that has recently been fixed through the process of photosynthesis. Some of these natural feed stocks are corn, rice, palm fiber, potatoes, cellulose and bagasse. A wide variety of products are made from these feed stocks. They include cups, plates, bottles, cutlery and bags among others. These products are affordable, light weight and safe, and they do not compromise the performance of the product. For instance, isosorbide that is derived from sorbitol dehydration has been proved to be safe in a number of ways. Firstly, some studies show that, these substances are not soluble in water and therefore they do not bio-degrade in water. Secondly, these isosorbide POLYSORB® products’ bioaccumulation potential are very low. And lastly, they have been proved not to have adverse effects on health and wellness of human beings and aquatic species. These biodegradable plastics break down easily when disposed unlike the non-bio plastics that take a very long time to disintegrate after its being discarded. Bio plastics do not contain high regulated metals amounts.
In his publication that he did recently, “The World In 2030”, futurist Hammond suggested that the technology speed is accelerating rapidly. He says that plastics’ role in the lives of humans will have increased significantly by 2030. This will include transplant of human tissue and organs. Smart packaging of food where by, the food contents and spoilage signs monitoring will also be efficient and this will be based on the anticipated improvement in plastic technology.