Booming growth expected in bioplastic production capacity
European Bioplastics projects that the global bioplastic industry will experience a fivefold increase in production volumes between 2011 and 2016, from approximately 1.2 million metric tons to 5.8 million metric tons.
The most significant growth is expected to be in nonbiodegradable plastics, such as biobased polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The market forecast published by European Bioplastics estimates that PET will represent 4.6 million, or 80 percent of total bioplastic production capacity, by 2016.
Asia had the most bioplastic production capacity online in 2011, with 34.6 percent. The relative capacity percentages for South America, Europe, North America and Australia were 32.8 percent, 18.5 percent, 13.7 percent and 0.4 percent. By 2016, Asia is expected to be home to 46.3 percent of capacity, with South America close behind at 45.1 percent. Europe, North America and Australia are expected to represent a relative 4.9 percent, 3.5 percent and 0.2 percent of production capacity.