Polymeric materials have had a boom in the global industry over the past two decades, because of its adaptability, durability, and price so much so that now we cannot imagine a product that does not contain it. However, many synthetic polymers that have been developed are mainly derived from petroleum and coal as raw material, which make them incompatible with the environment, since they cannot be included in what is a natural recycling system. Aware of the environmental impacts that produce synthetic polymers, a solution could be the mixtures with different types and sources of biological materials, called biopolymers, such as starch, cellulose, chitosan, zein, gelatin among others and that gradually replace synthetic polymers to address and resolve these problems. The development of new applications, such as composite materials by incorporation of alternative materials, found in nature that has similar properties to oil‐based polymers, but its main feature is its biodegradability and offering competitive to current material costs. In this sense, various investigations are aimed at decreasing the amounts of plastic waste and to manufacture products with less aggressive environment since the synthetic plastics are difficult to recycle and can remain in nature for over a century.
Part of the book: Composites from Renewable and Sustainable Materials