Faculty Advisor

Gobert, Janice

Faculty Advisor

Thompson, Robert W.


An analysis of societal issues involving bioplastics has been carried out. Health, economic, and environmental concerns related to a switch to bioplastics were studied. The possible impacts on energy usage, petroleum usage, and food production including land usage were observed. Bioplastics were found to be superior to petroplastics in terms of energy efficiency, petroleum consumption, and carbon emissions, but inferior to petroplastics in cost and applicability. Negative effects on the food supply were also predicted with a switch to bioplastics. Pollution and safety varied on a plastic-to-plastic basis but in general bioplastics were found to be safer. It has been concluded that bioplastics are not viable for wide scale use in their current form.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2009

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies

Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering