As biodegradable plastics fall under the "green" category, they exhibit high potential for growth compared to other thriving environment-friendly technologies in the renewable energy and chemicals segments. Opportunities are proliferating in key application areas such as packaging/plastic bags, agriculture, consumer goods, electronics, automotive, and healthcare. Growth in this sector occurs due to factors such as climate change, favorable governmental measures, and green procurement policies practiced by governments as well as corporate entities. Stringent environmental regulations are driving the development of bio-based products and triggering the growth of the biodegradable plastics industry.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Biodegradable Plastics--A Strategic Assessment of Technology Status and Application Prospects, finds that consumer products and packaging has emerged as the application sectors having the highest potential for biodegradable plastics. Analysis revealed that film packaging and rigid packaging scored the best in terms of level of attractiveness and possibility of success.
Novamont SpA, a company in the field of bioplastics, has decided to apply the AssoSCAI Environmental Label to publicize the characteristics of the Second Generation Mater-Bi® used in its shopping bags.
The label clearly states information both on the biological origin (quantity of renewable biological raw materials) and on its biodegradability and compostability. It also carries information on recyclability (to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination with other non-biodegradable polymers), as well as the possibility of energy saving by incineration.
The consumer is thus informed of the real significance of the term “bioplastic”, with the explicit declaration of the fundamental characteristics which justify the use of the prefix “bio-”.
Packaging for a variety of consumer, commercial, and industrial goods continues to grow rapidly, fueled largely by the increase in demand for consumer goods in developing countries. According to a recent report from Pike Research, worldwide packaging industry revenues will increase from $429 billion in 2009 to $530 billion by 2014, representing a growth rate greater than that of the global economy itself.
Along with this growth comes an ever-greater burden on the environment in the form of raw materials, energy, transportation, and disposal impacts. However, Pike Research forecasts that the sustainable packaging sector is growing much faster than the overall packaging industry, and the cleantech market intelligence firm anticipates that eco-friendly packaging will nearly double in revenues between 2009 and 2014, from $88 billion to $170 billion.