As FoodProductionDaily.com reports from the Emballage 2008 trade show in Paris this November, producers and packaging associations claim improvements to cost, performance and moisture barrier properties of bioplastics as well as more investment in sorting technology to prevent contamination of recycling waste streams will enable the industry to compete more effectively with conventional plastics.
Christophe Doukhi de Boissoudy, president of the Club des Bioplastiques, told attendees at the conference section of the trade show that the development of bioplastics for food and drink packaging has been hindered due to the fact that they are costlier to produce than petroleum based plastics. He predicts that with more investment in R&D to enable the fine tuning of bioplastics so ensure they become technologically and environmentally competitive this cost gap with petroleum-based plastics will be drastically reduced. Doukhi de Boissoudy added that producers of bioplastic packaging are aiming for price stabilization by 2015.
The BCC research group said that the market for biodegradable plastics, in terms of volume, reached 541 million lbs (245.000 t) in 2007, and is expected to reach 1.2 billion lbs (544.000 t) by 2012.
Market analyst Freedonia predicts that natural polymer demand will grow 7.1 per cent annually to US$4bn in 2012, with expansion due in part to improved production technologies for materials such as PLA.
Modern biomaterials such as bioplastics, natural fibre composites, WPC and other materials for the industry using renewable resources will be the focus on the second day of the international conference Raw Material Shift and Biomaterials organised by the nova-Institut GmbH at the Maritim-Hotel in Cologne on December 3rd and 4th, 2008. Information and booking are available online at www.rohstoffwende.de.
Source: FoodProductionDaily.com, 2008-11-28.