Global bioplastics production capacity will more than double from 2010 to 2015, with capacity already forecast to exceed 1 million tonnes in 2011, propelled by the expansion of bioplastics into an ever-increasing number of applications, ranging from packaging to automotive to toys. Stating that "bioplastics are in demand as never before," the study was presented at interpack by the European Bioplastics association, working in conjunction with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Hanover.
The study forecasts that bioplastics production capacity will increase to 1.7 million tonnes by 2015, up from around 700,000 tonnes in 2010. Production in the first half of 2011 was already past 900,000 tonnes, with the one-million-tonne mark to be passed before year end.
The composition of global production volume is also undergoing changes. In 2010, the bioplastics branch primarily produced biodegradable materials, totaling around 400,000 tonnes, compared to 300,000 tonnes of biobased commodity plastics. This ratio will be reversed in the coming years, despite overall growth. In the near future, biobased commodity plastics, with a total of around 1 million tonnes, will make up the majority of production capacity in 2015. Biodegradable materials are slated for substantial growth and are forecast to reach about 700,000 tonnes a that time....