In the late nineties, when DSM developed a castor oil based polyamide, the company quietly shelved the project, seeing little potential in the new plastic. And in 2000, when DuPont Chairman & CEO Charles O. Holliday Jr., first announced goals for DuPont to derive 25% of its revenue from renewable resources by 2010, the industry snickered. Now, almost 12 years later, that same industry is no longer laughing.
Major manufacturers of feedstocks and materials all over the world have become believers, helped along in some cases by tax breaks and other incentives, and are investing hard cash in bio-based business. This is not to say that green materials have become big business. But they have definitely become business.
Bioplastics are starting to look like a good place to be to many raw materials producers - and distributors. As an attendee of the recent European Bioplastics Conference confided over coffee: "We don't do anything in bioplastics - yet. I'm here to find out what and whom we need to know to get into this business. Specifically, we'll be looking at who to partner with."...