To meet the rising global demand for biodegradable and biobased plastics growing at over 20% pa, BASF has planned capacity expansion. BASF SE plans to expand production of biodegradable plastic Ecoflex® by 60,000 tpa from the current 14,000 tpa at its Ludwigshafen site. Ecoflex is a petrochemicals-based plastic which has the properties of conventional polyethylene but is fully biodegradable in accordance with DIN EN 13432 requirements. Production is scheduled to commence on completion of expansion of the plant in Q3-2010. Concurrently, BASF plans to increase capacity of Ecovio® at its compounding facility at Ludwigshafen. Ecovio, a derivative of Ecoflex, contains 45% by weight of the renewable raw material polylactic acid (PLA). The PLA content means Ecovio is not only biodegradable but also largely biobased.
BASF is currently a global market leader in the area of biobased and biodegradable plastics that find application in carrier bags, compostable can liners, mulch film, food wrapping, and for other applications.