Bioplastics part of the next industrial revolution in Europe
The European Commission’s recent communication on industrial policy highlights biobased products as a lead market triggering sustainable growth and job creation. „The bioplastics industry represents an important sector of the biobased products market, and our industry is playing its part in shaping this century with industrial processes sourced from renewable raw materials and innovative plastic products with a low carbon profile“, says Andy Sweetman, Chairman of European Bioplastics.
The European Commission’s communication states that „the biobased markets with high demand and favourable legislative framework could make a substantial contribution to the EU’s transformation into a more sustainable economy.
The right legislation and framework conditions will, however, be needed to encourage uptake of renewable raw materials for industrial use [...]“. European Bioplastics warmly welcomes the statement from DG Enterprise.
The bioplastics industry has commercialised new biobased polymers like PLA, PTT or starchbased materials. In a second wave commodity plastics like PE or PET are changing their raw material bases from fossil to renewable. The bioplastic portfolio covers almost everything from short-life compostable to durable engineering applications. „The develoment is driven by leading- edge industry and demand from brands which want to innovate and address sustainability issues like climate change“, explains Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics. „
The most relevant question for EU policy makers right now is: ‚Where shall these investments take place?’. Market data from European Bioplastics reveal that the bioplastics production capacity shows its highest growth in South America and Asia. In order to enable a dynamic and well-balanced development and competitiveness of the European industry on the global stage, a supportive framework is needed at EU and Member State level. „We call on the European Commission to implement the proposed Lead Market Inititiative recommendations via specific policy and market measures. They will fuel those innovative industries that Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, sees creating the ‚next industrial revolution’ for Europe“, says von Pogrell.