There are several different meanings to the term “bioplastics” being used today including medical plastics, natural polymers (like collagen), biodegradable plastics, oxo-degradable plastics and plastics from renewable sources.
In North America the latter is the primary designation, whereas in Europe the compostable and biodegradable materials have been more highly rated. Each continent has set up its own standards and labelling protocols to aid purchasing managers and consumers in understanding what they are buying into. A market study in 2009 by Utrecht University in Holland predicted a bio-based plastics market size of 2.3 million tonnes in 2013 including conventional polymers from renewable sources.
Keywords: PLA, PHA, crops, residues, certification, thermoforming
Source: Packaging Europe News, 2011-09-20.