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Bioplastics are key to unlock EU's potential for resource-efficient economy

Bioplastics are key to unlock EU's potential for resource-efficient economy
The 10th European Bioplastics Conference took place on 5/6 November 2015 in Berlin, attracting more than 350 participants from industry, policy, research, and media. In his keynote speech, Mr Reinhard Büscher, Head of Unit Chemicals, DG GROWTH at the European Commission, stressed the necessity to promote biobased products in the European Union in order to unlock Europe's potential for a resource-efficient economy: "We need clear, harmonised standards that define the thresholds for sustainability and facilitate high-quality recycling, which is key to create a strong biobased circular economy."

Opening the 10th anniversary edition of the European Bioplastics Conference, François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics (EUBP), highlighted the achievements and outstanding developments of the bioplastics industry over the past decade as one of the most innovative and exciting sectors of the European bioeconomy: "Ten years ago, bioplastics was still a buzzword. Today, my son Olivier is learning about the benefits of biobased products in high-school. The understanding and awareness of our impact on the environment is clearly growing and bioplastics are at the centre of this change," said de Bie.

A highly anticipated session was the presentation of the 2015 annual market data update delivered by Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of EUBP during the first day of the conference: "The positive trend of the past ten years continues. According to our latest market data, the global bioplastics production capacity is predicted to grow by more than 350 percent in the mid-term, from around 1.7 million tonnes in 2014 to approximately 7.8 million tonnes in 2019," said von Pogrell. This development was confirmed in several presentations during the conference by big brands and retailers, such as IKEA and Marks & Spenser, outlining their commitments and initiatives to become more sustainable and the role of bioplastics in achieving these ambitious goals. "By 2020, 100 percent of our plastics will be made from renewable and recycled sources," explained Per Stoltz, Sustainability Developer at IKEA.

Mitsubishi Chemicals Corp. and Sharp were awarded the 10th Annual Bioplastics Award for the development of the front panel of Sharp's new smartphone made from Mitsubishi’s biobased engineering plastic Durabio. It marks the first time a biobased plastic has ever been used on the front panel of any smartphone instead of glass, ceasing the problem of cracking while increasing durability and optical properties.

The 10th European Bioplastics Conference 2015 attracted more than 350 participants from around 200 companies and 29 countries to connect and catch up on the latest developments, issues, debates, and trends in the bioplastics industry in Europe. 24 companies showcased a great diversity of the latest products, materials, and applications at the exhibition alongside the conference.

European Bioplastics extends a special thank you to the sponsors of this year’s anniversary conference: Vinçotte, Perstorp, Succinity, BASF, Braskem, Corbion, Erema, Jinhui Zhaolong, NatureWorks, and BioAmber, for their support and dedication to the advancement of the bioplastics industry.