According to the New York Times, natural plastics, or bioplastics, are environmentally safe alternatives to conventional plastic. They are made from plant materials, such as vegetable fats or starches. Because starch is composed of polymers like petroleum, the base of conventional plastic, it serves as a viable substitute.
The environmental benefits of natural plastic are derived from its biodegradability. Unlike conventional plastic, natural plastic can completely break down when it is in the presence of decomposing microbes and other environmental factors. Conventional plastics, which contain elements of natural plastics, have been utilized, but the biodegradability effect is considerably affected, reducing the conventional plastic into smaller components.