High prices, product availability and basic ignorance are hampering sales of biodegradable and bio-based plastics in the agricultural, forestry and landscaping sectors, according to a new survey.
A poll conducted by Brilliant Little Planet, a Fakenham, England-based supplier of bio-based and biodegradable lawn and garden products, and Adapt Low Carbon Group, a management consulting group, found that while eight out of 10 respondents said they used biodegradable products, more than half felt the cost was too high.
A quarter of those polled believed such products were not easily available, while 53 percent believed that businesses did not know that such products even existed.
The limited survey was conducted between November and January among 52 people across Europe.
William Coulet, managing director of Brilliant Little Planet, said: “It's been eye-opening because while it's considered ‘the thing to do,' many sectors are not embracing more sustainable solutions or buying eco-products.
“The most important thing that I would take away from this survey is that there is a great need to increase people's knowledge of biodegradable alternatives to oil-based plastics; what they can be used for; how well they stand up when compared to products they are used to and where to get them.”
Coulet said that in response to people's criticism around the high price of materials, it was important to explain the life-cycle costs of both types of products: “While a bio-product could have a 25 percent price premium, over time it will be cheaper.
“This is because biodegradable products don't need to be collected from the initial site of planting, there are reductions in carbon emissions and on top of that there is no contamination issue.
“Ultimately, this is the most commercially and environmentally viable solution.”