Bioplastics production capacity is currently showing its highest growth in South America and Asia, but this could be about to change following a new European Commission communication which recognises biobased products as a leading market for triggering sustainable growth and job creation.
“With high demand and a favourable legislative framework, the biobased markets could make a substantial contribution to the EU’s transformation into a more sustainable economy. The right legislation and framework conditions will, however, be needed to encourage the uptake of renewable raw materials for industrial use.”
The statement from the EC’s DG of Enterprise and Industry has been warmly welcomed by industry body European Bioplastics.
"The bioplastics industry represents an important sector of the biobased products market, and our industry is playing its part in shaping this century with industrial processes sourced from renewable raw materials and innovative plastic products with a low carbon profile,” says its president Andy Sweetman.
The bioplastics industry has already commercialised new biobased polymers like PLA, PTT or starch-based materials, and in a second wave, commodity plastics like PE or PET are changing their raw material bases from fossil to renewable. The bioplastic portfolio covers almost everything from short-life compostable products to durable engineering applications.
“The develoment is driven by leading-edge industry and demand from brands which want to innovate and address sustainability issues like climate change,” adds European Bioplastics MD Hasso von Pogrell. “The is the most relevant question for EU policy makers right now is where the investments take place. We call on the European Commission to implement the proposed Lead Market Inititiative recommendations via specific policy and market measures. They will fuel those innovative industries that Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, sees creating the next industrial revolution for Europe."