European Bioplastics Forecast
The bioplastics market is predicted to grow from around 1.4 million tonnes (annual production capacity) in 2012 to approximately 6.2 million tonnes in 2017. The actual land used for sourcing renewable feedstock for bioplastics will amount to approximately 0.02% of the global agricultural area.
This forecast comes from a statement issued this week by the industry body European Bioplastics. It is published annually in cooperation with the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover in Germany.
“Our market data update once more affirms above average growth in the bioplastics industry around the world”, said François de Bie, Chairman of the Board of European Bioplastics. “Continuous growth can be expected with regard to all bioplastic material types and in a range of very diverse market segments – from packaging to fibres to consumer electronics.”
According to the report, the strongest growth is expected in the biobased, non-biodegradable bioplastics group. Biobased versions of bulk plastics like PE and PET in particular are project to grow significantly. Biodegradable plastic production is expected to grow by around 60% by 2017.
The packaging market will remain the leading segment for bioplastics applications. However, other segments are moving forward in the trend for bioplastics use, in particular consumer electronics, automotive, and the fibre market.
European Bioplastics believe that the market growth will lead to economic improvements in Europe’s rural areas, leading to increasing employment opportunities. The group is pushing for a European knowledge base to help provide skills and employment opportunities
European Bioplastics’ current data shows that Europe and North America remain key locations for research and development and also as sales markets. However, the establishment of new production capacities is seen to be stronger in South America and Asia. “In order to stay competitive along the complete bioplastics value chain, Europe needs to step up its game. We call upon the European Commission to establish a level-playing field for the biobased industries in Europe and a clear cut policy framework for promising markets such as bioplastics”, said de Bie in light of the current forecast.