The survey sees increasing prices for raw materials and a growing consciousness for the environmental impact of packaging waste as the driving forces behind this growth. Most packaging material today is made from plastics based on crude oil – recycling these plastics is a complicated process. Their dependence on oil as basic raw material couples the price for these plastics indirect with the crude oil price. Especially short-lived, single use packaging of foods and consumer goods (according to study about 12% of the total packaging amount) could well be made from bioplastics with the same hygienic qualities, especially from starch based or Polyactid acid plastics.
Due to the competitive pressure on the plastics market, bioplastics still have difficulties competing with cheaper oil based plastics. The unstable political situation in several Middle East countries and a static grow of crude oil price from the relative stable prices in the mid-nineties could well make alternative resources for plastics more competitive. Some of the difficulties with cost-efficient production could nevertheless be overcome if bioplastics are produced as a mass product by the big players on the synthetics market.
Tags: polymers market value, recyclability, freshness, temperature or quality indicators, drop-in substitutes
Source: Plastemart, 2013-02-14.