New Study from Ceresana Research: Bioplastics are Flourishing

27-May-2009 - Germany

Shopping bags, fast-food utensils, and garbage sacks that decompose into compost after use: bioplastics are not only environmentally-friendly, but they can also be economically advantageous. “Despite the financial crisis, manufacturers of biodegradable plastics were able to demonstrate moderate growth in this past year,” explains Oliver Kutsch, president of Ceresana Research.

Potential or Over-enthusiasm?

A new study from Ceresana Research analyzes the market for biodegradable polymers. Expectations for bioplastics are high: a better image for plastics, independence from petroleum products, solutions for waste problems, contributions to environmental protection, as well as a new source of income for the agricultural sector. However, the characteristics and potentials of different bioplastics vary substantially – accordingly, there is a high demand for related information.

Increasing Competition for Petrochemicals

Plastics made from renewable materials and biodegradable polymers are rapidly catching up. Bioplastics are already unbeatable in certain, special applications – for example, medical implants, which dissolve in the body, or compostable mulch films for agriculture. As a result of remarkable advances in development, bioplastics are also increasingly capable of replacing common, standard polymers. In this regard, packaging materials constitute the most important application area; for example, filler materials that are utilized in very large amounts. However, the largest growth rates are seen in the automotive and electronics industries: Bioplastics can be applied to articles like consoles or cellular phone cases. During the past eight years alone, consumption of biodegradable plastics based on starch, sugar, and cellulose (so far the most important raw materials) has increased by 600%. Starch-based plastics currently dominate in Europe, and polylactic acid is considered to be particularly promising.

Ceresana Research Market Study – Bioplastics examines, in detail, the situation of bioplastics throughout the European, North American, and Asian-Pacific regions, particularly in the seven countries with the highest revenues.

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