Bio-based Plastics – How do we Grow the EU Industry?
 

Background

Today, bio-based plastics have an established market, demonstrating rapid growth both in Europe and globally. While Europe is currently the largest producer and user of bio-based plastics, this situation is expected to change in the future with production increasingly being based in countries where feedstocks are cheaper and where production costs are lower. Even with increasing fossil fuel prices expected to make bio-based plastics more competitive compared to fossil-derived plastics, ensuring the cost-competitiveness of EU bio-based plastics production compared to other regions globally is expected to become an increasingly difficult challenge. On top of this, several other hurdles are impeding the development of the bioplastics industry in the EU. These include:

  • A lack of Government support for bio-based plastics
  • Problems translating research into products
  • A lack of public awareness of bio-based plastics and their benefits
  • The need for further technology development in some sectors to improve functionality

This workshop aims to identify workable solutions to the major hurdles hampering the development of the bio-based plastics sector in the EU. It will consider, amongst other issues:

  • Would refocusing communications about bio-based plastics from their ‘green’ credentials to their functionalities prove beneficial in promoting demand for bio-based plastics from novel sectors, or would the introduction of mandates and targets have a greater impact?
  • Would people pay a bio-premium for bio-based plastics if they knew the benefits?
  • Whether it is better to focus on new technologies or on improving existing technologies? 
  • How can we make knowledge and expertise in this sector more readily accessible to technology developers?

 

Workshop Information:

The objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Prioritise the technological, non-technological and market hurdles affecting the use of IB in bio-based plastics production
  • Identify novel solutions to the most important hurdles including timeframes for action.
  • Bring together IB end users with technology providers, innovation agencies and decision makers to stimulate discussion and help develop connections.

Input from market, policy and technological experts within the area of bioplastics is crucial to allow us to develop recommendations which best answer the needs of industry.

You may also be interested in the draft summary of our findings so far on biobased plastics. We are keen to have all comments at this stage of the project, especially on the market projections and on the possible solutions to hurdles. Please send us any comments that you have by the end of November 2014 to bio-tic@europabio.org

This workshop is a satellite event to the 9th European Bioplastics Conference which will be held at the Square, Brussels on 2nd and 3rd December 2014. The workshop is organised by the BIO-TIC project consortium. All companies and people who are not members of European Bioplastics are eligible for 10% off the admission fee for the 9th European Bioplastics Conference but need to register for this workshop before registering for the European Bioplastics Conference in order to receive the discount.

Introducing the BIO-TIC project

BIO-TIC is a three year project, funded by the European Commission, aiming to identify the hurdles to Industrial Biotechnology and to develop solutions to overcome them, thereby unlocking the massive potential for this key technology in Europe.

The project focuses on five product groups which have significant potential for Europe and which have the potential to introduce cross cutting technology ideas. These product groups are

  • Bio-based chemical building blocks
  • Bio-based plastics
  • Biosurfactants
  • Advanced biofuels
  • CO2 based chemicals

Roadmaps for developing the IB sector in Europe, with a special focus on the opportunities above, will be delivered by summer 2015. We are developing three in depth bio-roadmaps focussing on market potential, R&D priorities and non-technological (regulatory and policy) hurdles to IB innovation. The market roadmap will provide market projections to 2030. The technology roadmap will focus on setting R&D priorities and identifying needs for pilot and demonstration activities and the non-technological issues roadmap will identify the regulatory and non-technological hurdles that may inhibit IB innovation from new markets.

BIO-TIC is your gateway to Industrial Biotechnology

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