European Bioplastics' annual market data update has predicted sharp production capacity rises in the next four years for bioplastics with the figure set to rise to approximately 6.7 million metric tons by 2018.
The results presented this week at the 9th European Bioplastics Conference in Brussels, anticipate capacity rising from its 2013 rate of around 1.6 million metric tons.
The study was compiled in cooperation with scientific partners the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites in Hannover, Germany and the Nova-Institute in Hürth.
Biobased, non-biodegradable plastics, such as biobased polyethylene and biobased PET, are gaining the most ground, while renewable and compostable plastics produced locally are likely to benefit from the new European Union directive on the reduction of shopping bags.
European Bioplastics chairman François de Bie said: “Flexible and rigid packaging remains by far the leading application field for bioplastics.
“Besides this, a decisive growth can be observed in textiles and automotive applications. From functional sports garments with enhanced breathability to fuel lines — bioplastics are constantly spreading into new markets.”
The study found that Asia will expand its role as major production hub. Most of the currently planned projects are being implemented in Thailand, India and China.
In comparison, Europe will be left with around 8 percent of production capacities.
“We urge the EU legislators to consider and make efficient use of the immense environmental, economic growth and job creation potential of our industry. In this context, the Circular Economy Package should remain in the Commission's 2015 Work Program and the Waste Target Review should proceed as planned,” de Bie added.