Technological watch

Biopackaging Potential Alternatives: Bioplastic Composites of Polyhydroxyalkanoates and Vegetal Fibers

Initiatives to reduce plastic waste are currently under development worldwide. As a part of it, the European Union and private and public organizations in several countries are designing and implementing regulations for single-use plastics. For example, by 2030, plastic packaging and food containers must be reusable or recyclable. In another approach, researchers are developing biopolymers using biodegradable thermoplastics, such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), to replace fossil derivatives. However, their production capacity, high production costs, and poor mechanical properties hinder the usability of these biopolymers. To overcome these limitations, biomaterials reinforced with natural fibers are acquiring more relevance as the world of bioplastics production is increasing. This review presents an overview of PHA–vegetal fiber composites, the effects of the fiber type, and the production method’s impact on the mechanical, thermal, barrier properties, and biodegradability, all relevant for biopackaging. To acknowledge the behaviors and trends of the biomaterials reinforcement field, we searched for granted patents focusing on bio-packaging applications and gained insight into current industry developments and contributions.

Publication date: 10/03/2022

Author: Natalia Gómez-Gast

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14061114

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.