7 November 2012

Bioplastics still on the rise

7th European Bioplastics Conference demonstrates the future potential of the industry

The significance of bioplastics as a central component of the European bioeconomy strategy is undisputed. This was the core message of the plenary talks by Alfredo Aguilar Romanillos, European Commission, Clemens Neumann, Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Germany, and John Williams, NNFCC, during the 7th European Bioplastics Conference on 6 and 7 November in Berlin. More than 400 participants caught up on the latest developments and progress in the bioplastics industry.

Numerous questions connected to the growth of the bioplastics industry were discussed during the 7th European Bioplastics Conference – such as: How is the growing supply of bioplastics affecting public awareness? Which market segments will grow in particular and what impacts will this growth have? What are the potential side-effects of adding bioplastics to existing recycling streams? In particular the latter was a hot topic at the conference. “Give us a sufficient amount of any plastic – be it PLA or any other bioplastic – and we can sort it and recycle it”. This was the main message of the recycling industry to the bioplastics industry during a podium discussion moderated by Thomas Probst of the Federal Association of Secondary Raw Materials and Disposal.

The “7th Annual Global Bioplastics Award” ceremony by bioplastics MAGAZINE was another highlight of this year’s conference. 2012, saw two winners take the award. Both companies come from the automotive industry and achieved the same score. TAKATA AG received the “Bioplastics Award 2012″ for its demonstrator of a steering wheel/airbag system that shows both, the potential and the limits of bioplastic applications. The IfBB (University of Hannover) was awarded with its rear spoiler of the “Bioconcept Car” racing car. The flax fibre enriched component with biobased epoxy resin is only one of many components to come that shall be produced successively from bioplastics.

European Bioplastics addressed the significant topic of “environmental communication for bioplastics” in a half-day workshop the day prior to the conference (5 November). Representatives of the bioplastics industry, the communications industry, and experts of environmental initiatives as well as public institutions discussed various cases concerning the essential issue, “Where does greenwashing start?”. “The workshop discussion reflected a very open atmosphere and we are pleased that we were able to welcome a diverse range of partici- pants – amongst them representatives of Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German Environment Aid) and Greenpeace,” said Andy Sweetman, Chairman of European Bioplastics. “Regular exchanges on important topics such as environmental communication are essential, particularly in the case of a vibrant growth area such as the bioplastics industry”. European Bioplastics intends to continue its promotion of best practice communication in the area of bioplastics with a series of workshops during the next year.

Now in its seventh year, the European Bioplastics Conference, with around 400 participants and 240 companies from around the world, has once again shown itself to be the leading information platform globally. Participants this year came from the following regions: approx. 85 percent of participants came from Europe, 10 percent visited from Asia, and the majority of the remaining 5 percent came from North and South America.

Images from the conference and the workshop are available at the following link: http://en.european-bioplastics.org

The conference proceedings (CD) will shortly be available for purchase here: http://en.european-bioplastics.org/conference2012

Matthew Crans, Altuglas, Jens Hamprecht, BASF, Babette Petersen, BioAmber, Michael Thielen, Bioplastics Magazine, Leonora Novaes, Braskem, Thomas Probst, BVSE, Klaus Stadler, Coca-Cola Company, Lukas Willhauck, DIN CERTCO, Karlheinz Hausmann, DuPont, Ton Emans, EuPR, Alfredo Aguilar Romanillos, European Commission, Laurence Dufrancatel, Faurencia Interior Systems, Clemens Neumann, Federal Minstry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (Germany), Patrick Zimmermann, FKuR Kunststoff, Masimo Zonca, Heinz Company, Martin Bender, HTP, Lucy Cowton, Innovia, Andy Sweetman, Innovia, Jean-Marie Raquez, Materia Nova, Erwin Vink, NatureWorks, John Williams, NNFCC, Francesco Degli, Innocenti, Novamont, Michael Spielmann, PE International, François de Bie, Purac, Edmund Stassen, Reclay Holding, Martina Hauck, RheinChemie, Christophe Rupp-Dahlem, Roquette, Bruno Rudnik, SusTech Consult, Rainer Hagen, Uhde Inventa-Fischer, Bahman Sarabi, UL International Thermoplastics Testing Center, Hans-Josef Endres, University of Applied Sciences Hannover, Daniela Jahn, University of Applied Sciences Hannover, Abdallah Nassour, University of Rostock, Petra Michiels, Vinçotte, Kieran Furlong, Virent.

API, BASF, BioAmber, BIOTEC, BKG, Braskem, DIN CERTCO, DuPont, EREMA, FKuR, Agency for Renewable Resources (Germany), FUTURAMAT, FUWIN, Hochschule Hannover, IKT Kunststoff Technik Stuttgart, Innovia, Kaneka, Kingfa, maag group, Limagrain, Metabolix, NatureWorks, Next Generation Recycling Machines, Novamont, OWS Organic Waste Systems, PolyOne, Purac, Rhein Chemie, Roquette, Showa Denko Europe, Sukano, Taghleef Industries, TEIJIN, TORAY, UL International TTC, UNITIKA, Vinçotte.

Source: European Bioplastics, press release, 2012-11-07.


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