Bioplastics firms to grow at 30% or more a year after recession

10 November 2009 15:10  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS news)--Bioplastics companies will grow 30% or more per year after the global economy exits the recession, an industry expert said on Tuesday.

Rates of growth of between 30% and 60% a year would be similar to those achieved over the past five years, Andy Sweetman, global marketing manager of sustainable technologies at packaging films group Innovia Films said at the 4th European bioplastics conference in Berlin.

“Even throughout the recession if you speak to most people in the bioplastics industry they will say they are still growing,” Sweetman said.

“I think we will see there would have been a slowing in 2008 and 2009. Companies will probably see only 10% growth this year. However, it is still a double digit growth rate. I think the industry will accelerate and we will see those 30% plus growth rates again.

“In the packaging market there are a lot of brand owners realising they have to start looking at waste and raw material issues. I think they are using the recession as a breathing space to learn about the subject, make themselves ready and pick the right product, and launch in the next year or so,” he added.

Sweetman said that the biggest driver for the industry initially was that consumers liked things to be biodegradable and compostable and that the bioplastics market had been driven as a waste management idea, particularly in Europe which had issues of landfill running out and progressive land fill tax increases. However over the last three years there has been a greater focus on renewability, he said.

“We are going to get to a point where instead of food and garden waste being seen as a problem they will be seen as an asset, which completely changes businesses ways of thinking. For this waste to be taken somewhere to be digested anaerobically and turned into an energy or fertilizer source there will be a need for an infrastructure and that is where biomaterials will come in,” Sweetman said.

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By: Franco Capaldo
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