The bioplastics sector, consisting of plastics that either biodegrade or have bio-based components, surged last year despite the economic downturn, according to an industry press release.
European Bioplastics, which represents European manufacturers, released the results of a survey of its members asking what sort of growth they experienced last year and what their expectations are for 2011. According to the survey, 47 percent of companies saw an increase in sales, with only 10 percent seeing sales decline last year. Some companies saw sales growth of more than 5 percent last year. Two thirds of the companies surveyed plan to increase investment next year, and 60 percent expected good to excellent results in the coming year.
According to European Bioplastics, bioplastics are being used with increasing frequency in durable products, including cell phone housing and car parts. The organization cited increasing demand for climate protection and reduced consumption of fossil fuels as drivers for the industry.
Despite recent growth, however, bioplastics still represent only 1 percent of the plastics market. The organization called for increased incentives in order to grow the market beyond its niche.
The future of compostable packaging for QSRs
Quick-service restaurants with Seattle locations are well aware the city's "foam ban" goes fully into effect July 1. That means throw-away packaging can no longer be made of expanded polystyrene and must be either recyclable or compostable.
While more QSRs are weighing eco-friendly packaging options, moving to a compostable lineup means overcoming a number of hurdles, Elmore said. Most brands are deterred by the cost. Although prices have come down in recent years, compostable packaging still costs more than traditional packaging.
La société Vegetal & Mineral Water va démarrer dans les prochains jours sa production de bouteilles en PLA (acide polyactique), extrait de l’amidon de maïs non transgénique, à Bourbonne-les-Bains (Haute-Marne).
« Nous disposons de trois lignes de production, qui ont mobilisé un investissement de 1 million d’euros, dédiées respectivement aux eaux plates, aux eaux gazeuses et à diverses boissons. Par exemple nous sommes en contact avec des producteurs de jus de fruits bio », explique le dirigeant qui a élaboré ses bouteilles en bioplastique recyclable et intégralement compostables avec le concours du laboratoire d’étude des matériaux polymères d’emballage (LEMPE) de l’Université de Reims et de l’Ecole supérieure d’ingénieurs emballage et conditionnement (ESIEC), également à Reims.
Pour répondre aux contraintes (résistance à la pression et étanchéité) liées à l’embouteillage de boissons gazeuses, et renforcer l’effet barrière du PLA, l’entreprise utilise, alternativement ou simultanément, plusieurs process comme l’introduction de nanoparticules – notamment d’argile – ou le traitement plasma.
POLYSOLE: SOLEGEAR Bioplastics Inc.
After four years of intensive Research and Development, involving chemical engineers and scientists from around the world, SOLEGEAR Bioplastics Inc. is announcing the market readiness of POLYSOLE®.
POLYSOLE® is a 100% natural bioplastic that can biodegrade within weeks after disposal. While plastic bags, food packaging and cup liners are a huge step in the right direction, POLYSOLE® is an ENGINEERED, HIGH PERFORMANCE plastic designed for use in the automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries.