US bioplastics reached $1bn in sales

The U.S. bio-plastics market accounted for approximately $1 billion in sales in 2007 and is expected to reach $10 billion by 2020, according to bioplastic producer Cereplast.

The company notes estimates pointing to bio-plastics capturing up to 30% of the total US plastics market within 10 years. Cereplast said that algae-based bioplastic, of which the company is currently developing, will open up a whole new source of feedstock and result in a broad range of new applications.

Consulting firm Freedonia, meanwhile, estimated that global demand for bioplastics in 2008 was 200,000 metric tons and is expected to increase to 900,000 metric tons in 2013, valued at $2.6bn.

Bioplastic demand in North America last year was estimated at 58,000 MT while Western Europe was 77,000 MT, Asia/Pacific at 58,000, and the rest at 7,000 MT. Aggregate growth rate for global bioplastic demand between 2008 and 2013 is expected at 35%.

Also check out the blog’s recent post about a bioplastic study from the European Bioplastics association. Lots of good information in that study.

Finally, in another bioplastic news, I received an email from my colleague Will Beacham about a Belgian bioplastic company Futerro – a 50/50 joint venture established in September 2007 by Galactic and Total Petrochemicals, starting up its polylactic acid bioplastics demo unit in Escanaffles.

The 1,500 tonnes/year pilot plant will be used to test and improve the company’s bioplastic process during an internal evaluation, which is expected to last around six months. Futerro expects to soon offer a full range of products made from lactic acid, including lactide, oligomers and PLA polymers for the packaging market, especially food packaging.

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