Global bioplastics production to pass 1m tonne/year mark in 2011

13 May 2011 17:22  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Global bioplastics production is forecast to pass the 1m tonnes/year mark in 2011 and should more than double from 2010 to 2015, industry association European Bioplastics said on Friday.

Production capacity would grow from around 700,000 tonnes/year in 2010 to 1.7m tonnes/year by 2015, according to a study presented by the association in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Hanover at the Interpack 2011 trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany.

"The encouraging trend in production capacity allows us to assume that the figures presented today will even be exceeded in the coming years," said Hasso von Pogrell, managing director of European Bioplastics, noting that in the first half of 2011 production capacity already exceeded 900,000 tonnes/year.

Hans-Josef Endres of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Hanover anticipates notable changes in the composition of bioplastics global production volumes.

In 2010, the bio-plastics branch primarily produced biodegradable materials, totalling around 400,000 tonnes, compared with 300,000 tonnes of biobased commodity plastics, he said.

This ratio would be reversed in coming years, Endres added. “Our market study shows that bio-based commodity plastics, with a total of around one million tonnes a year, will make up the majority of production capacity in 2015,” he said.

“Biodegradable materials will, however, also grow substantially and will reach about 700,000 tonnes a year by then,” Endres added.

Bioplastics were swiftly expanding into an ever-increasing number of applications, European Bioplastics said.

“From packaging to car manufacture to toys, carpets and electronic components – bioplastics are in demand as never before. The strongly growing group of durable bio-based bioplastics appeals strongly to the packaging market, for example. Several large brand producers such as Danone and Coca-Cola have brought products to market,” it said.

Europe is the world’s largest market for bioplastics and is the leader in research and development, the industry association added.

“The number of production facilities, in contrast, is growing most markedly in Asia and South America. The competitiveness of European industrial sites must therefore be improved through better frameworks and regulations. European Bioplastics challenges politicians to support the local bioplastics industry,” it said.

The Interpack 2011 trade fair runs until 18 May.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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