Bio-based plastics are back in the spotlight, although their role in helping the industry become more circular while cutting carbon emissions is still developing.
In the February Sustainable Plastics Live (recording below), Karen Laird and Don Loepp talked about how bioplastics can play a role in helping the plastics supply chain get to net zero emissions, although cost and other factors have been holding back progress.
“Bio-based products produced via mass balance can lead to a negative CO2 footprint based on a cradle to gate LCA, which is of course, attractive if you're trying to get to net zero,” Laird said.
“What people are slowly starting to realize is there's no one route to get to net zero. You can't just do mechanical recycling. You can't just do bio-based plastics. You can't just do carbon capture. You need the whole package. And so it would be it would be really great if there was more incentive, If there was more policy support. …. That's something that's not there yet.”
Laird and Loepp also gave updates on a number of bioplastics-related headlines, including:
- The America Chemistry Council’s newly unveiled bioplastics policy principles, and how they could fit in with the White House’s bioplastics initiative.
- Where bioplastics fit in the United Nations Plastics Treaty talks.
- An update on global bioplastics production and a close look at the cost of bio-based plastics compared with conventional plastics and other materials including paper, glass and aluminum.
- Download the latest issue of Sustainable Plastics
The next Sustainable Plastics Live is scheduled for April 2.