European economies are confronted by new global challenges at the start of the 21st century. Faced with e.g. increasing competition from around the world, wealth, growth and employment for European citizens have to be secured. At the same time, solutions must be found for urgent environmental problems such as climate change.
An increased standard of living and a longer, healthier and more comfortable life than ever leads to increased global energy and raw materials consumption. With accelerating economic expansion, however, non-renewable raw materials like oil, coal and ores are depleting, prices increase and supply security becomes uncertain. At the same time, the impact on the environment is growing. To meet these challenges, a significant increase of industrial production efficiency as well as a transition to renewable resources is needed.
For the plastics sector, bioplastics can help fulfil these requirements by:
- Shifting the plastics industry’s production to renewable feedstocks, as well as
- enhancing the reuse and recycling of plastic products.
A political and economical framework plays a central role in the market penetration of biobased plastics products. For this reason, the EU Commission has already intensively taken on the subject of biobased products during its Lead Markets Initiative. Biobased plastics were identified during this process as one of the most important markets for potential growth.