Green plastic surges in Brazil

Several bioplastic news came out last week as reporters from ICIS (the company I work for) covered the recent BrasilPlast tradeshow.

Officials from BASF and Corn Products International announced theirplans to build a new plant in Sao Paulo for the production ofstarch-based plastics. BASF is said to have already started producingthe “green” resin in small quantities through a smaller third partycompany hired for mixing the products.

Another BASF official also noted that bioplastics will still remainniche players in the plastic industry for the foreseeable future.

Dow Chemical, meanwhile, said it will continue to pursue its plans tobuild a ethanol-to-polyethylene (PE) complex in Brazil. Dow reiteratedthat statement in the show as a Brazilian newspaper recently reportedthe company suspending the $1bn ($750m) project.

Start-up of the plant is expected in mid-2011.

Solvay Indupa, the Brazil arm of Belgium-based chemical major Solvay,is also building a “green” plyvinylchloride (PVC) plant in Sao Paulo.The PVC plant will use “green” ethylene feedstock made from sugarcaneethanol and is expected to start in 2011.

Brazilian polyolefins producer Quattor plans to use glycerine-basedpropylene to produce polypropylene (PP) plastic. The company expects tohave commercial production of green propylene and green PP by 2012.

Finally, several participants at the show expressed their worriesthat consumers may get confused with the disposal of bioplastic as acompostable material as opposed to recycling traditional plastics.Costs for sorting out the proper plastics will also be cumbersome, somesaid.

Here are additional information for ICIS subscribers:

BASF and Corn Products to build “green” plant in Brazil

Dow to pursue ethanol-to-PE complex in Brazil-05/05/2009-ICIS News

Biodegradable plastic may clash with recycling efforts-05/05/2009-ICIS News

Brazil’s Quattor developing ‘green’ propylene for polymers

Food should be priority over bio-plastics – BASF source-05/05/2009-ICIS News

Solvay Indupa building ‘green’ PVC plant in Brazil

[Bioplastic photo from BASF]

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