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The Evolution of Bioplastics

As product designers, we know how important it is for people to choose the right materials. As well as choosing something appropriate, people often have other concerns – sourcing local materials from Melbourne or finding a sustainable option. Bioplastics are one option for people concerned about their environmental impact.

Bioplastics are plastics made from renewable resources or plastics that are fully biodegradable and compostable. More and more of these materials are being developed to help solve problems with landfill and plastic pollution in our water systems. There are many options for people interested in bioplastics, but we’ve had a look at a few that we found interesting.


Biofiba is a biodegradable simulated timber, made in Australia from industrial hemp. It has been designed to replace plastics, polystyrene, cardboard and timber in the export packaging industry.

It’s main use so far has been in producing Biopallets, a replacement for wooden pallets that decompose much faster, reducing the hard waste that is produced.  As a timber replacement it will be interesting to see whether this technology takes off in different applications such as housing and furniture.


Polysole is a bioplastic produced by Solegear, produced without any hazardous chemicals it is made from Polylactic Acid (PLA), derived from plants. It comes in two varieties, each designed for specific uses.]

One variety is designed to replace PET in things like clamshell packaging, bottles, and blister packs, while the other is designed for injection molding. It can be both recycled or biodegraded.


Grabio is a resin made from starch, to reduce dependence on petroleum and trees. When the material is burned, it releases no toxic gases, and generates less CO2 than traditional plastics.
Grabio has been used to make a high tensile strength film, designed for use in supermarket and garbage bags. It is similar in properties to LDPE and can be used in the same applications such as bottles, trays and toys.

These are just a few of the sustainable plastics available.  Click here if you would like more information on another natural PLA material. If you’d like to talk about these materials, or other sustainable options, contact our Product Design team in Melbourne on +613 9413 9000 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Biofiba Bioplastic - Industrial Design Melbourne
The timber replacement, Biofiba being extruded

Polysole products include bottles and trays

  Grabio Bioplastic - Product Design Melbourne

Biodegradable bags from Grabio