Bioplastics are on the rise!

8 Nov 2012

The significance of bioplastics as a central component of the European bioeconomy strategy is undisputed. This was the core message of the plenary talks by Alfredo Aguilar Romanillos, decease European Commission, sovaldi Clemens Neumann, Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Germany, and John Williams, NNFCC, during the 7th European Bioplastics Conference on 6 and 7 November in Berlin. More than 400 participants caught up on the latest developments and progress in the bioplastics industry.

Numerous questions connected to the growth of the bioplastics industry were discussed during the 7th European Bioplastics Conference ? such as: How is the growing supply of bioplastics affecting public awareness? Which market segments will grow in particular and what impacts will this growth have? What are the potential side-effects of adding bioplastics to existing recycling streams? In particular the latter was a hot topic at the conference. ?Give us a sufficient amount of any plastic ? be it PLA or any other bioplastic ? and we can sort it and recycle it?. This was the main message of the recycling industry to the bioplastics industry during a podium discussion moderated by Thomas Probst of the Federal Association of Secondary Raw Materials and Disposal.

The ?7th Annual Global Bioplastics Award? ceremony by bioplastics MAGAZINE was another highlight of this year?s conference. 2012, saw two winners take the award. Both companies come from the automotive industry and achieved the same score. TAKATA AG received the ?Bioplastics Award 2012? for its demonstrator of a steering wheel/airbag system that shows both, the potential and the limits of bioplastic applications. The IfBB (University of Hannover) was awarded with its tailgate of the ?Bioconcept Car? racing car. The flax fibre enriched component with biobased epoxy resin is only one of many components to come that shall be produced successively from bioplastics.

European Bioplastics addressed the significant topic of ?environmental communication for bioplastics? in a half-day workshop the day prior to the conference (5 November). Representatives of  the bioplastics industry, the communications industry, and experts of environmental initiatives as well as public institutions discussed various cases concerning the essential issue,  ?Where does greenwashing start??. ?The workshop discussion reflected a very open atmosphere and we are pleased that we were able to welcome a diverse range of participants ? amongst them representatives of Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German Environment Aid) and Greenpeace,? said Andy Sweetman, Chairman of  European Bioplastics. ?Regular exchanges on important topics such as environmental communication are essential, particularly in the case of a vibrant growth area such as the bioplastics industry?. European Bioplastics intends to continue its promotion of best practice communication in the area of bioplastics with a series of workshops during the next year.

Now in its seventh year, the European Bioplastics Conference, with around 400 participants and 240 companies from around the world, has once again shown itself to be the leading information platform globally. Participants this year came from the following regions: approx. 85 percent of participants came from Europe, 10 percent visited from Asia, and the majority of the remaining 5 percent came from North and South America.

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