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Has your local coffee shop recently switched to biodegradable cups? Or maybe your workplace canteen has made the switch to biodegradable cutlery? Perhaps the plastic packaging of your favourite magazine is now a biodegradable wrapper? You might wonder what materials are behind these biodegradable products, and exactly how much better they are for the environment than the materials they’ve replaced. Here, we explore these biodegradable plastics, and how they stack up against conventional ones.