The potential use of Solaplast grade resins within the packaging market is very feasible. The polymers used for diverse applications can be biobased, biodegradable or durable. The type of bioplastics material utilized depends on the application.
There is no larger market segment in the plastics industry than the packaging segment. More than a third of all plastics are converted into packaging, approximately 100 million tones worldwide.
In Western industrial countries, 50 percent of all goods are packaged in plastics. Without the various available packaging solutions many sensitive goods would perish or be damaged en route to the customer.
Despite its extreme lightweight, plastics packaging can also be easily adapted to meet specific application demands. However, the enormous consumption of conventional plastics in packaging means that today’s societal demands are not met. The question therefore arises, how to turn plastics packaging solutions into more sustainable products.
The overarching problem of climate change and a noticeable drastic change in fossil resources have accelerated the search for better concepts for plastics packaging. Approaches to reuse and recycle plastics in closed loops need to be developed, keeping the guiding principle of efficient use of resources in sight at all times. With the corresponding demands of converters and brand owners further driving the development of new solutions, bioplastics are expanding beyond their niche into the packaging segment.
Bioplastics use resources as efficiently as is currently possible while keeping food safe, enduring high heat, reducing CO2, and offering new recovery options. In short, bioplastics packaging offer the same qualities as conventional packaging and even more.
There is a high demand for packaging made from bioplastics to be used for wrapping organic food as well as for premium and branded products with particular requirements. Market introduction is making dynamic progress with growth rates ranging from 20-100 percent, annually. Bioplastics productioncapacities have been forecasted to grow to more than 6 million tonnes by 2017 with most of these new volumes being converted to innovative packaging solutions.
Governments can further foster this trend by promoting bioplastics packaging in the context of their innovation, resource and climate change policies. The transition from a fossil-based economy to a bio-economy is an important global 2020 Strategy target.
All types of bioplastics used in packaging offer one outstanding advantage over fossil-based products: The use of renewable resources and, by consequence, the intrinsic value proposition of reducing the environmental impact of packaging.
Packaging made from bioplastics can be processed with all customary plastics processing technologies. No special machinery is required. Depending on the type of bioplastics used, only the processing parameters have to be adjusted.