Global capacity for biobased materials is set for huge growth over the next few years – but challenges remain as production moves inceasingly into emerging markets, said European Bioplastics.
FoodProductionDaily.com caught up with Hasso von Progrell, managing director of the trade body, at Interpack 2011 in Düsseldorf to talk about progress, increasing uptake from major brand owners and shifting supply patterns of bioplastics.
He forecast that capacity and demand for the materials were likely to jump as industry players continued to successfuly address concerns over processability and cost. The adoption of bioplastics by high-profile food manufacturers such as Coca-Cola and Danone would also serve to accelerate growth.
That’s the good news.
But the industry group chief cautioned that the competitiveness of the European industrial sites is under strong pressure from an increasing number plants springing up in Asia and South America – on lower overheads such as raw material and labour costs.
As with oil-based plastics, supply and cost issues are already beginning to surface as the migration of production facilities to emerging markets in the Middle and Far East gathers pace, added von Pogrell. And how to address this issue? Well, Europe's hands are largely tied, he said