Bioplastics are an extraordinary place to be right now. Recent reports from Ceresana and Freedonia both predict extremely robust growth for the sector, as consumer demand for sustainable materials continues to rise and bioplastics prices start to come down. Have bioplastics finally reached the turning point?
Bioplastics are already rapidly making up for their less than stellar performance in the past. And 2012 might well be the year in which the bioplastics industry truly comes of age. Key drivers will include improved product performance and improved availability - two obstacles, which, in the past, have hindered the acceptance and use of these materials - and price parity with oil-based polymers, another major hurdle, which bioplastics producers are working to overcome. The high costs of research and development have kept the price of bioplastics high, and volumes low. As demand increases, availability becomes more reliable and performance rises, bioplastics prices will fall. The question is, however, where will the growth be? Biosourced? Biodegradable? Drop-ins or novel materials?...