As a contribution to the ongoing public, political and industrial debate, Michael Carus and Stephan Pioztorwski from the nova-Institut are taking a stance for biobased products in an article published in the bioplastics magazine.
Their core argument that there is enough unused or underused arable land available to support energy and industrial raw material production as well as production of food and feed is supported with information on availability of land resources, food prices and recent price rallyes.
The proportion of land used for the production of bioplastics shows that the issue of competition between food/feed and bioplastics is largely academic: Biobased polymers currently need less than 0.1% of the agricultural land.
“The target should be to cultivate crops that use the land most efficiently for their intended purpose” is the conclusion of the authors, both experts on renewable raw materials and their markets. If the most efficient solution is to use food crops for biobased products, then using less efficient non-food crops would lead to inefficient use of farmland.
Michael Carus, Stephan Piotrowski, 2009: Land Use for Bioplastics. In: Bioplastics Magazine 04/09, p.46-49. (full article, PDF-document)
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Source: nova-Institut GmbH, Eigenrecherche, 2009-08-24.