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Bioplastics set to grow despite soft global economy

The global market for biodegradable polymers doubled in size between 2005 and 2009, and according to a recently released report from SRI Consulting, that market is in place to grow 13% annually from 2009 to 2014. About half of total consumption is in Europe, and the European Bioplastics organization concurs in the bullish outlook.

IMM Staff

February 10, 2010

1 Min Read
Bioplastics set to grow despite soft global economy

SRIC’s report says growth is expected in North America and Asia in addition to Europe over the next few years. Factors driving growth include legislation, better cost competitiveness, increasing consumer concern on reducing landfills, fossil fuel independence, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and a demand for eco-friendly products of all kinds.

Andy Sweetman, chairman of European Bioplastics, points to the increasing number of brand owners using bioplastics to enhance the image of their products. Coca-Cola recently began marketing its PET PlantBottle, which is 30% plant-based material, in selected countries; Samsung’s new Reclaim mobile phone uses biodegradable plastics; Hyundai uses PLA in the interior of its next generation hybrid car; and Frito-Lay will use bioplastics in the packages of its popular SunChips line. 

Besides those and other specific applications, European Bioplastics says its members are investing in new plants, technological innovation, and cooperation agreements. Nature Works recently doubled its PLA production capacity, Braskem will start this year to make bio-based PE, BASF launched new biodegradable plastics materials for coating paper and for shrink film, Novamont launched the second generation of its Mater-Bi material, while Purac, Sulzer, and Synbra announced that they are cooperating on foamed PLA products.

SRIC’s Michael Malveda, the lead author of the Biodegradable Polymers report, commented that, ìFuture legislation will have a major impact as to how widely these polymers are used. Likewise, prices of petroleum-based alternatives and the economy’s recovery will help shape the industry’s future.î The SRIC report includes trends, supply and demand information, plus analysis of the competitive environment. For information on the report, go to www.sriconsulting.com. —[email protected]

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