Bioplastics market set to double in size by 2015

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

The market for bioplastics is set to top one million tons in 2011 and will grow rapidly to double in size by 2015, according to the European Bioplastics association.

The findings form part of a study which was presented by the association with the co-operation of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts at the recent Interpack trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany.

According to its figures, the market produced around 700,000 tonnes of bioplastics in 2011, and this figure is set to explode in the run up to 2015, in line with manufacturers demands for more sustainable plastics.

“The encouraging trend in production capacity allows us to assume that the figures presented today will even be exceeded in the coming years,”​ said Professor Dr. Hands-Josef Endres of the Univesity of Applied Sciences, managing director of European Bioplastics.

Growth likely to be driven by cosmetics packaging

Kristy-Barbara Lang, spokesperson for European Bioplastics told Cosmetics Design that the growth is being driven by a variety of different industries, including fast moving goods categories such as cosmetics and personal care.

She pointed to the fact that association member and bioplastics specialists Braskem has entered an agreement to supply Procter & Gamble with bioplastics for its shampoo brand Pantene V.

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The initiative to supply the sugar cane-based bioplastics for the brand was announced last year and the first shipments of the new packaging for the shampoo went out last month.

Other cosmetics companies that Lang underlined for their involvement in bioplastics include Shiseido, which is working with Natureworks on a new line of packaging, as well as the colour cosmetics company Cargo, which has just launched a new lipstick made from bioplastic packaging.

Cosmetics industry opens up to bioplastics

Although the food industry has been ahead of the game on the take-up for bioplastic packaging, Lang believes the cosmetics industry will also be contributing to the continued growth of the category in the coming years.

“As in all other fields of application bioplastics represent an opportunity to save energy, emissions and depending on the material you use they also can offer additional end-of-life options,”​ Lang said.
“There is definitely an opportunity for each company to reduce its carbon footprint by switching packaging solutions to bioplastics,”​ she said.

The association highlights the packaging industry as being one of the main drivers of the predicted market growth, but also highlights the manufacturing of products such as toys, cars, carpets and electronic components as key.

On a geographical basis, Europe is currently the largest market for bioplastics, and is also a leading researcher and developer. However, the highest growth markets are Asia and South America, where production facilities have seen a rapid increase of late.

Related topics: Packaging & Design

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