GLOBAL – Bioplastics production capacity is set to increase from around 1.6 million tonnes in 2013 to approximately 6.7 million tonnes by 2018, a growth of more than 400% in the mid-term.
The data was compiled in cooperation with European Bioplastics’ scientific partners – the IfBB – Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover, Germany) and the nova-Institute (Hurth, Germany).
Biobased, non-biodegradable plastics, such as biobased PE and biobased PET, are set to gain the most production capacity growth, taking up about 5.6 million tonnes in 2018, up from 1.01 million tonnes in 2013.
The research also indicates that about 75% of bioplastics will be produced in Asia by 2018. In comparison, Europe will be left with only roughly 8% of the production capacities.
“With a view to regional capacity development, Asia will expand its role as major production hub,” says European Bioplastics. “Most of the currently planned products are being implemented in Thailand, India and China.”
The association also noted that geographical regions such as the USA and Asia, are investing in measures ‘closer to market introduction’, which results in faster market development than in Europe.
On the whole, European Bioplastics says that flexible and rigid packaging remains “by far the leading application field for bioplastics”, but also highlighted the industry’s expansion into new sectors such as functional sports garments with enhanced breathability to fuel lines.