samedi 23 mai 2009

Bioplastics are Flourishing

Shopping bags, fast-food utensils, and garbage sacks that decompose into compost after use: bioplastics are not only environmentally-friendly, but they can also be economically advantageous. They improve image, flourish despite economic crises, and are practical even without a surge in oil prices. Ceresana Research's newest market study informs you about these promising materials.

Expectations for bioplastics are great: a better image for plastics, independence from petroleum products, solutions for waste problems, contributions to environmental protection, as well as a new source of income for the agricultural sector. However, the characteristics and potentials of different bioplastics vary substantially - accordingly, there is a high demand for information.

Increasing competition for petrochemicals

Plastics made from renewable materials and biodegradable polymers are rapidly catching up. Bioplastics are already unbeatable in certain, special applications - for example, medical implants, which dissolve in the body, or compostable mulch films for agriculture. As a result of remarkable advances in development, bioplastics are also increasingly capable of replacing common, standard polymers.

More and more use in everyday products

Packaging materials constitute the most important application area for bioplastics; for example, filler materials that are utilized in very large amounts. Supermarkets are increasingly offering compostable shopping bags. However, the largest growth rates, concerning the application of bioplastics, are seen in the automotive and electronics industries - for instance in consoles or cellular phone cases. During the past eight years alone, consumption of biodegradable plastics based on starch, sugar, and cellulose (up so far the most important raw materials) has increased by 600%. Starch-based plastics currently dominate in Europe, and polylactic acid is considered to be particularly promising.

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