Increasing demand for bioplastics flout trends by other plastics in the economic downturn

The market for bioplastics is defying the economic downturn as brand owners worldwide continue to invest in the technology, according to the chairman of the European Bioplastics board in According to European Bioplastics, growth will continue over the next four years. Total global production capacity at 568,000 tons will grow to 964,000 tons in 2011, 1.44 mln tons in 2012 and 1.46 mln tons in 2013. Demand for bioplastics is on an uptrend, as increasing number of bigger players turn to biopolymers as an alternative to conventional plastics. Coca-Cola has introduced a new PET PlastBottle in certain countries, which contains 30% plant-based material, Samsung has introduced a mobile phone made partly of biodegradable plastics, Hundai is using PLA for the interior of its next generation hybrid car, while Frito-lay are using bioplastics in their SunChips packaging. In line with the increased demand from user industry, bio polymer manufacturers are continuing to invest in plants. Nature Works has doubled its production capacity of PLA for corn-derived polylactic acid (PLA) resin to 300 mln lb pa, and Braskem made big investments for this year’s start-up of bio-based PE. Braskem will begin supplying Tetra Pak with 5000 tpa of "green" HDPE from 2011, about 5% of its annual HDPE requirement.
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