To date, all biodegradable plastics have been thermoplastic polymers. A biobased and biodegradable thermoset plastic for use in inflexible items used in homes and buildings such as telephone casings, insulation foam, trays, tables and lamps has been developed by Researchers of the University of Amsterdam (UvA, The Netherlands). Researchers Gadi Rothenberg and Albert Alberts discovered “Glycix” bioplastic by chance while looking for a biofuel. The basic ingredients of the polymer are glycerol and citric acid, two substances that are in abundant supply and can be produced from biomass. Their plastic now appears to be a polyester, but further details are not available as patents for the material remain pending. Rothenberg said: “Glycix is 100% biodegradable. With water it breaks down into its monomers, glycerol and citric acid, two compounds which are completely natural and will be absorbed in the natural cycle. The decomposition rate depends on the degree to which the plastic has been hardened. Decomposition time varies from several weeks to a year, depending on the production method. Therefore, the plastic cannot be used in equipment used outside, but in principle it is a good material for any product used inside.” The researchers said the material can be injection moulded and the plastic adheres easily to other materials including stainless steel and glass. Furniture made from “Glycix” requires additional protection, so a table produced in the material and presented to the board of the University of Amsterdam was covered with a glass plate. Developing the production process and the design of new applications is being carried out in cooperation with Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and is expected to carry on for some years.