Bioplastics production to grow by more than 400% by 2018, according to the latest findings presented at the 9th European Bioplastics Conference, which took place from December 2-3 in Brussels, Belgium.

The data compiled by European Bioplastics in cooperation with its partners – the IfBB – Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover, Germany) and the nova-Institute shows that bioplastics production capacity is set to increase from around 1.6 million tons in 2013 to approximately 6.7 million tons by 2018.

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How will the bioplastics market growth in mid-term?

European Bioplastics, the industry’s association, is the organizer of the conference. Polylactic acid (PLA) is a major growth driver in the field of bio-based and biodegradable plastics. Furthermore, renewable and compostable plastics produced locally are likely to benefit from the new EU directive on the reduction of shopping bags, according to the study. Flexible and rigid packaging meanwhile remains by far the leading application field for bioplastics.

“Besides, a decisive growth can be observed in textiles and automotive applications. From functional sports garments with enhanced breathability to fuel lines – bioplastics are constantly spreading into new markets,” stated François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics.

From a regional perspective, the study believed Asia will expand its role as major production hub, with about 75% of bioplastics will be produced in the region by 2018. Most of the currently planned projects are being implemented in Thailand, India and China.

In comparison, Europe, at the forefront of research and development though, will be left with only roughly 8% of the production capacities.

“We urge the EU legislators to consider and make efficient use of the immense environmental, economic growth and job creation potential of our industry. In this context, the Circular Economy Package should remain in the European Commission’s 2015 Work Program and the Waste Target Review should proceed as planned,” concluded Mr de Bie.

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