Below you can read a word from BioValue platform manager Jane Lindedam on the most important takeaways from the bioplastic seminar. Also included are the posters presented at the seminar along with pictures from the whole day.

We at BioValue would once again like to thank all the attendees for a inspiring and informative day.

Who will be the driver of the bioplastic market?

More than 100 participants had signed up for the Bioplastic seminar even before the registration deadline was reached, and the seminar was fully booked. The goal set by the organizing team to connect key regional industries with expert researchers was met. The focus of the program was narrow: Plastic from plant based biomass – current use, production, and industrial interest.

Based on a comprehensive market study[1] key note speaker Michael Carus of the Nova-Institute in Germany showed the evolution of worldwide production capacities of bio-based polymers from 2011 to 2020. Actual data puts bio-based polymers at 2% of total polymer production capacity, € 11 billion turnover, and the forecast illustrates triplicating the capacity towards 2020. The forecast is primarily driven by increasing bioPET production expected by Coca Cola, however a shift in forecast might occur if Coca Cola follow through on rumors of producing their bioplastic bottle from CO2 derived PET rather than biomass derived PET.

Interestingly, green premium prices are usually lowered along the value chain of different bio-based polymers, meaning that producers and compounders pay the green premium prices early on in the value chain and only in a few cases do the end consumers pay more for the bio-based product. One such case was exemplified by Tetra Pak, who presented how they are priming the market for their 100% renewable carton package for liquid food Tetra Rex® by buying and selling more renewable cartons than commissioned, without charging extra.

The seminar offered inspiration from leading Danish companies (LEGO, RPC SUPERFOSS, Haldor Topsøe) and international companies (Avantium, Tetra Pak, Corbion, Perstorp) on the transition from traditional plastic to a more sustainable plastic. Many technical, financial, and regulatory challenges and opportunities were discussed while the breaks were fully used networking over the conveyed posters illustrating current Danish bioplastic research- and innovation activities.

The final session summarized the presentations and opened up the discussion among research institutions and industries on how to shape the next level of bioplastic progression.

Take-home messages from the seminar:

  • It is important to involve the whole value chain in commercializing bio-based plastics – from feedstock producers to end-users. Plastic producers or compounders cannot develop the market alone. Partnerships are needed with strong commitment and long-term strategies for investment.
  • Communication with consumers and marketing are essential factors of successfully introducing bioplastic, especially in cases where the added value does not pay off to the producer but to the brand owner.
  • Drop-in commodity polymers represent both positive and negative aspects of the bioeconomy, but drop-ins are often the choice due to fast implementation and 1:1 substitution in mature fossil markets. Regarding bio-based polymers and the environment, there are many examples of applications in which biodegradable plastics would be a suitable solution.
  • Looking forward there is great potential in techniques combining classic organic chemistry with biological methods resulting in new monomers from bioresources.
  • Recyclability and matching of the future recycling system should be co-developed as well as finding new polymers or additional functionalities compared to petrochemicals.

Facts on the seminar

  • Organized by BioValue and partners Novozymes, INBIOM, AU, DTU
  • Hosted by Novozymes, Bagsværd on 18th of May 2016
  • 95 participants on the day

[1] Bio-based Building blocks and Polymers in the World – Capacities, Production and Applications: Status Quo and Trends towards 2020

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Posters from the seminar

Poster list

Poster list

Download the poster list for an overview of all the posters that were available at the seminar.

Poster 1

Download poster 1

Development of the Molybdenum-Catalyzed Deoxydehydration of Polyols

Poster 2

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Plant-crafted starches for bioplastics production

Poster 3

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Effect of hydrothermal pre-treatment and enzymatic retting on the mechanical properties of unidirectional hemp/epoxy composites

Poster 4

Unfortunately this poster is not available due to ongoing research awaiting publishing.

High-throughput screening of optimal cell factory design using transcription factor-based biosensors

Poster 5

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AU Centre for Biorefining Technologies – a pilot facility for development and scale up of biobased chemicals and monomers

Poster 6

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BioREFINE-2G: 2nd Generation Biorefineries for Bio-based Polymers

Poster 7

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PHA biopolymer production from wastewater

Poster 8

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Effects of Reprocessing on Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Biodegradable PLA and Biobased PA 410

Poster 9

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Fungal retting of hemp fibers originating from different stem sections

Poster 10

Download poster 10

Bio-based polymers – functional polymers and packaging materials