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UTILIZATION OF STARCH-BASED BIOPLASTIC MADE FROM GABI (Colocasia

esculenta) STARCH AS AN ALTERNATIVE FOOD PACKAGING

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The disposal problems associated with conventional oil-based plastics found

environmental menace across the globe considering the amounts agitated out as waste on a regular

basis. Particularly that some plastics (mostly thermosets) are not recyclable which increases

additional problems of high energy consumption and difficulties arising from contaminants and

fiber reinforcements (Widmer, 2003). In addition, the option of recycling is becoming increasingly

impractical with the production of complex multi-phased products. Of the 8.3 billion metric tons

that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that only nine percent

has been recycled. The massive 79 percent is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the

natural environment as litter. Projected by the year of 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tons of

plastics in landfills (Nationalgeographic.com). The container and packaging category constituted

the highest tonnage as these products are mostly single-use items. Therefore, the current revolution

taking place in plastics industry is expected at emerging novel plastics possessing material

properties comparable to their conventional counterparts joined with the added advantage of

biodegradability

. Tremendous efforts are certainly underway towards building and achieving this new

generation of plastics tagged bioplastics or “green plastics” with renewable resources as the base

materials. This type of plastics is capable of significantly reducing environmental impact such as
energy consumption, waste and greenhouse effect in certain applications (Bastioli, 2001). Patel

(1999) reported that 0.8-3.2 tons of CO2 per ton of plastics could be saved using starch-based

plastics. The advantages of starch for production of plastic include its biodegradability,

renewability, good oxygen barrier in the dry state, abundance and low cost (Thunwall et al., 2006).

Researches have conducted and researched for many researches to help lessen the plastic

waste on this planet through the production of eco-friendly alternative to plastics. The said

ecofriendly alternative is bioplastics or biodegradable plastics, which can easily be disposed to the

environment and can decay through enzymatic actions of microorganisms.

There is still a deficiency in the advancement of bioplastics as its expensive cost of

production create limitations. Agricultural waste (AW) has been proposed as an effective

alternative for a renewable yet low cost substrate. In addition to abundant sources, starch from

agricultural waste is the answer for an alternative. Due to its cheap cost, starch as a biodegradable

polymer grows into a practical material for bioplastics production. Hence, bioplastic production is

the breakthrough innovation that can help solve the environmental issues the world is facing by

using renewable yet provide cost effective bioplastics (Maulida, et al. 2016).

Biodegradable plastic usage has already started in some of the countries across the globe.

Cornstarch as an additive has been used for some plastics. Such additive helps in the natural

decomposition of the plastic materials. Basically, gabi is composed of starch. Amylose and

amylopectin are the two main components of gabi starch. Amylose is a straight chain of polymer

of anhydroglucose units while amylopectin is a branch of chain compound, also of anhydroglucose

units. Starch is a very favorable raw material in to be used in plastic-making since plastics are

made of polymers (Girao, et al. 2013).


The high demand for plastics, however, has been a major contributor to the world’s present

garbage problems and soil pollution. This study aims to produce bioplastic from gabi (colocasia

esculenta) starch. The researchers aims to develop a biodegradable plastics for a one big step to

lessen, if not totally eliminate, this global concern.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Generally, this study aimed to utilize gabi (Colocasia esculenta) starch extract for the

production of bioplastic packaging material.

Specifically, this study aimed to answer the following questions:

1. What is the percentage yield of the starch to be used?

2. What are the physical properties of the bioplastic made from gabi starch as an

alternative food packaging material in terms of biodegradability, color,

durability, texture, and general acceptability?

3. Is there a significant difference between the bioplastic packaging material made

from gabi starch and the commercial plastics in terms of durability and

biodegradability?

Significance of the Study

As time passes by, the rate of soil pollution continues to escalate in place of the production

of commercial plastics. With this problem, the need to develop something that can possibly reduce

this worsening condition is necessary. The result of this study will possibly open an avenue for
other sources of starch-based biodegradable plastic packaging material, thus limiting the use and

production of the commercial plastics within the community. The results of this study will benefit

the consumers’ lives because of the introduction of new bioplastics that could be used for an

alternative packaging material. This study will also determine if the produced bioplastic packaging

material can be an alternative solution to plastic packaging problems that will help the future

researchers to further improve the packaging material. Furthermore, utilizing of organic waste such

as gabi for production of starch-based bioplastic packaging material will reduce the environmental

damages that are caused by conventional plastics.

In addition, this could serve as a guide for future researchers who will be interested in

engaging on a study related to the field of bioplastics or finding an alternative use of gabi.

Time and Place of the Study

The study will be conducted from February 2019 to April 2019 at Ersando’s Residence.

Scope and Delimitations of the Study

This study focused on the production of bioplastic as a alternative of plastic packaging

material by means of starch extraction from gabi. This study was limited to qualitative

determination of the starch’s percentage yield; evaluation of the bioplastic’s physical properties in

terms of biodegradability, color, durability and texture; and the determination of significant

difference among produced bioplastics and the commercial plastic in terms of durability and
biodegradability. Furthermore, this study was confined to the determination of the treatment with

the highest acceptability rate.

The toxicity testing will be determined limited only to animals through acute toxicity

testing to determine the biologic activity of the bioplastic.

The antimicrobial property was only determined through a study that one of the materials

used in the study - (glycerin) has a purpose of preventing microbial growth in making the

bioplastic. Intensive research can be a solution for further improvement of the product.

Operational Definition of Terms

Plastic. A synthetic material made from a wide range of organic polymers such as

polyethylene, PVC, nylon, etc., that can be molded into shape while soft, and then set into rigid or

slightly elastic form.

Gabi (colocasia esculenta). a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms, the root

vegetables most commonly known as taro.

Bioplastic. Plastic that is biodegradable and is made or derived from different biological

materials.

Starch. A polysaccharide composed of glucose units that occurs widely in plant tissues in

the form of storage granules, consisting of amylose and amylopectin.

Glycerin. A sweet syrupy hygroscopic trihydroxy alcohol C3h8O3 usually obtained by

saponification of fats.
Vinegar. A sour liquid used as condiment or a preservative that is obtained by acetic

fermentation of dilute alcoholic liquids (as fermented cider, malt beer, or wine) or of dilute distilled

alcohol.

Water. A transparent, tasteless, and odorless substance that is main constituent of earth’s

streams

Color. Human visual perception wherein the sense of sight is used.

Texture. The feel, appearance, and consistency of a surface or a substance requiring the

sense of touch.

General Acceptability. Basis for considering something to be satisfactory.

Durability. Ability to withstand wear, pressure, or damage; hard-wearing.

Biodegradability. Capability of being broken down especially into innocuous products by

the action of living things, such as microorganisms.

Acute Toxicity Testing. Describes the adverse effects of a substance that result either from

a single exposure or from multiple exposure in a short period of time (usually less than 24 hours).