Why are ordinary plastics still dominating production? What are the main obstacles preventing their full replacement by biodegradable ones?
This related session has led to thoughts on how we should put more effort into eliminating plastics production altogether or minimize it as much as possible. Hope to fully eliminate plastics from use seems to be utopic, but implementing fully biodegradable alternatives instead always seemed like a good and easy enough solution to me. Therefore I wonder why this hasn't been done already. First biodegradable alternatives appeared decades ago, by now fully biodegradable plastics could be dominating the market.
To experience a living example of high-demand plastic products been fully replaced nationwide is enough to go shopping in any supermarket in countries like Italy and France where all the disposable polyethylene bags have been banned and completely replaced by biodegradable alternatives years ago. Why can't this be done with all the plastics in general? Here's some reason's that may hold this back:
Production costs. There is an (in)famous and probably truthful comparison that the production costs of disposable cutlery are smaller than washing costs of the same amount of reusable cutlery. To make it from biodegradable plastic may be more expensive than both of those options combined. However, the price would drop with increased popularity.
Certain types of fully biodegradable plastic might be too complicated to make. Those bags in France and Italy feels like they are decomposing while you are using them, but it might be complicated to achieve full biodegradability with thicker types of plastic used for bottles and other items.
Lack of public awareness and support for this approach.
What can be other reasons preventing this from happening? Are they really such big obstacles or is it just a lack of enthusiasm, support, and efforts that are really stopping this?