January 2, 2014
The organization that represents Europe's bioplastics industry expects the global market for the material to see "above average" growth in the coming years.
Berlin-based European Bioplastics (EB), which represents 70 member companies spread across the European Union, said annual production capacity of bioplastics would rise from 1.4 million tonnes in 2012 to 6.2 million tonnes by 2017.
EB said that the strongest gains would be made in bio-based, non-biodegradable bioplastics area, notably bio-based versions of bulk plastics such as polyethylene and PET.
But the organization said capacity for biodegradable plastics would also grow by around 60 percent by 2017.
Among end-users, the packaging market was set to remain the leading segment for bioplastics applications, although EB said other areas such as consumer electronics, automotive and the fibre market were "gaining in strength".
François de Bie, EB's board chairman, said the development of bioplastics had the potential to create jobs across Europe.
He also called on the European Commission "to establish a level-playing field for the biobased industries in Europe and a clear cut policy framework for promising markets such as bioplastics," especially in the face of competition from South America and Asia.