The world today faces tremendous environmental challenges. In particular, there is a significant and growing concern regarding plastic pollution due to plastic litter in oceans and on land. New evidence is emerging on a daily basis showing the disastrous impact of plastic litter in the oceans, on marine animals and habitats. Numerous countries and regions across the world have proposed or implemented bans on single use plastics (such as cups, straws, cutlery) in an attempt to stem the tide of plastic pollution. Many people believe that bioplastics, in particular, biodegradable plastics, could be a potential solution for this issue. However, there is widespread confusion regarding bioplastics, what they are, how they are made and what happens to them at the end of their useful life. This course will provide an introduction to the area of bioplastics and provide guidance in the use of these materials for packaging applications, in order to address some of the global sustainability issues.


Dr. Sandeep Kulkarni

Dr. Sandeep Kulkarni

Dr. Sandeep Kulkarni has over 20 years of industry experience working for several large packaging companies, such as International Paper and Georgia Pacific. He developed packaging that resulted in over $ 25 MM in revenue for these companies. Most recently he worked for PepsiCo, in the area of sustainable beverage packaging. During his 8 year tenure at PepsiCo, Dr. Kulkarni worked on a wide range of sustainable packaging initiatives such as a fiber-based bottle, bio-based plastics for beverage bottles and designing packaging for recyclability. Dr. Kulkarni has 7 granted patents as well as several publications in industry journals. He has also served on the advisory board for the Sustainability in Packaging conference 2018, as well as the judging panel for the Circular Design Challenge within the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy initiative. He has also delivered several invited presentations at international conferences on the topics of sustainability and sustainable packaging.

Dr. Kulkarni serves as an Adjunct Professor at The Packaging School (affiliated with Clemson University) as well as in the Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University.

Dr. Kulkarni is also a Certified Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practitioner through the Center for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE)


Bioplastics for Packaging

  • Introduction to Bioplastics
  • What are Bioplastics?
  • Beginning and End of Life for Bioplastics
  • Misconceptions About Bioplastics
  • Comercially Available Bioplastics
  • Global Standards/Certifications for Biodegradable Bioplastics
  • Global Production Capacities of Bioplastics
  • Opportunities to Apply Bioplastics in Packaging
  • Key Steps to Developing Packaging Based on Bioplastics
  • Wrap Up
  • Knowledge Check: Bioplastics


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