The aim of this work was to make biodegradable plastics from renewable resources. Paper-based biodegradable plastics were produced via a sol-gel process by using zinc chloride solution. The optimum conditions were a zinc chloride concentration of 65%, reaction temperature of 70 °C, reaction time of 5 s, aging time of 3 h, and glycerol concentration of 10%. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and wide-angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed that no chemical reaction occurred and the crystal form of the cellulose remained cellulose I, but the degree of crystallinity decreased. Compared to other biodegradable plastics, these paper-based biodegradable plastics had better mechanical properties and greater biodegradability.