Bioplastic materials

Today, there is a bioplastic alternative for almost every conventional plastic material and corresponding application. Bioplastics – plastics that are biobased, biodegradable, or both – have the same properties as conventional plastics and, in many cases, even offer additional advantages. This includes a reduced carbon footprint or additional waste management options, such as composting. Bioplastics are an essential part of the bioeconomy and a fast-growing, innovative industry that has the potential to decouple economic growth from resource depletion and environmental impact. Bioplastics are a diverse family of materials with differing properties. There are three main groups:

  • Biobased or partially biobased non-biodegradable plastics, such as biobased PE, PP, or PET (so-called drop-ins) and biobased technical performance polymers, such as PTT or TPC-ET;
  • Plastics that are both biobased and biodegradable, such as PLA and PHA or PBS;
  • Plastics that are based on fossil resources and are biodegradable, such as PBAT.

Bioplastics currently represent roughly 0.5 percent of the over 400 million tonnes of plastic produced annually*. But as demand is rising, and with more sophisticated materials, applications, and products emerging, the market is already growing very dynamically.