07 November 2012 10:23 [Source: ICIS news]
BERLIN (ICIS)--Taxes may be a better method of catalysing the growth of the bio-based materials market than subsidies, a representative of UK bioeconomy consultancy NNFCC said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the annual conference of industry body European Bioplastics today, NNFCC head of materials John Williams said that increased taxes and penalties on petroleum-based plastics may be a more realistic approach for developing the bio-based materials market than seeking subsidies from financially-constrained governments.
“We keep concentrating on mandates and support, but mostly our [government’s] treasuries are wanting money rather than wanting to give it away, so the idea would be to tax a petro option preferentially, and therefore hopefully give a bio-based option a more driven route to market,” he said.
Williams noted a growing desire among European consumers for greener products – but that people were unwilling to accept any decrease in quality or increase in cost for those materials. However, the increasing price of oil and gas as exploration becomes more difficult is also likely to be a boon to the market, he said.
“How fast we’re running out of oil and gas is a continually moving target, but what we can say is that oil and gas is getting considerably more difficult to get at, and therefore more expensive – and therefore there is going to be an increase in the raw material prices for petrochemicals,” said Williams.
He estimated that there are currently over 30 companies in the market commercialising more than 50 bulk bio-based chemicals.
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