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Five-fold growth projected for bioplastics

Europe – ‘Global bioplastics production capacity is set to grow 500% by 2016,’ asserts the European Bioplastics association. In a recent report, it reveals that Europe’s bio-economy sectors are already ‘worth Euro 2 trillion in annual turnover and account for 22 million jobs in the EU’. Global production capacity of bioplastics amounted to some 1.2 million tonnes in 2011 and will rise to almost 6 million tonnes by 2016, it is envisaged.

However, the report also notes that bioplastics production capacity is growing ‘fastest outside of Europe’. Asia accounts for 34.6% of total volumes, followed by South America on 32.8%, Europe on 18.5% and North America on 13.7%.

European Bioplastics predicts that Asia and South America will be even more dominant within the bioplastics industry by 2016, accounting respectively for 46.3% and 45.1% of a total projected production capacity of 5.778 million tonnes. The shares held by Europe and North America will shrink to, respectively, 4.9% and 3.5%.

‘Drop-in solutions represent the single largest sector of the global bioplastics production,’ states European Bioplastics. Examples include partly bio-based, non-biodegradable commodity plastics such as polyethylene, PET or polypropylene that can be ‘easily recycled along their conventional counterparts’.

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