A news article published September 1, 2014 on the industry news website Packaging Europe reports that bioplastics, despite being an emerging key substrate in the packaging industry, currently only represent 1% of the global plastic market. However, it is estimated that the global market will see an increase in the production volumes reaching values around 6 million tons per year in future years. The percentage of bioplastics used in food packaging is predicted to increase from 68 to 80%, due to the introduction of bottles manufactured with bio-based PET. The article summarizes the most common bioplastics used for food packaging applications (also refer to the Food Packaging Forum background report).

Despite its anticipated growth, the global bioplastic industry is challenged by a variety of factors, in particular the high cost of raw materials, the low production capacity, short life cycles and limited mechanical, physical or chemical properties. The report contends that a combination of different commercial levels coupled with development of new products with better functional properties is necessary to tackle these challenges.

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Packaging Europe (September 2, 2014). “Bioplastics: opportunities and challenges.

Food Packaging Forum background article “Bioplastics