Bioplastics’ share of auto sector to increase - consultant

11 November 2009 11:06  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS news)--Bioplastics are expected to become an integral part of the automotive industry, and chemical companies must work together to gain a greater share of this growing market, a consultant said at an industry conference late on Tuesday.

Collaboration on bioplastics production would be crucial in making greener and cheaper cars, which would drive innovation and provide chemical companies with a greater share of the automotive market, said Atussa Sarvestani, a consultant with BeOne Hamburg.

Sarvestani was speaking at the 4th European bioplastics conference in Berlin, Germany.

“We need to think holistically in this entire industry. Instead of seeing one another in the biofuel and bioplastic industry as competition, we should see the opportunities which we can achieve by combining industries, companies and their accomplishments,” said Sarvestani

“Innovations drive us forward. We developed polyethylene in the past and look at its usage today. Bioplastics will be touching our lives in an extreme way in the next 50 years,” she said.

Sarvestani said the automotive industry has already started to use bioplastics and that there would be a huge market to take advantage of, as there are presently about 15 types of plastics used in car production.

Examples of bioplastics used in the automotive industry included Ford’s use of soya-based foam in car seats and Toyota’s plan to replace 20% of its plastics in automotive products with bioplastics by 2050, Sarvestani said.

Key drivers for the use of bioplastics products in the auto sector would be that they are carbon neutral, especially in production, and less dependent on crude oil, Sarvestani said

She also emphasised the importance of price competitiveness for bio-based auto parts compared with their petroleum-based counterparts.

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By: Franco Capaldo
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