13. Mar 2017

Policy frameworks for biobased plastics impact market development

A new trend report from nova-Institute examines policies around the world and the impacts - positive and negative – of these on bio-based plastics market developments. Where is demand expected to increase?

The development of an innovative industrial sector is influenced by many different factors. The prevailing political framework conditions especially can play an important role in inhibiting or advancing the development of such a sector. nova-Institute’s newly published report looks at how different parts of the world handle the development of the bio-based plastics sector politically.

Motivations for supporting the bio-based plastics sector (and the bio-based economy in general) vary strongly from region to region. In the US, the main drivers are resource security and agricultural market policy, while in Japan, products with a green image are propelling the market forward. In Europe, resource utilisation, GHG emissions, recyclability and compostability are important drivers in developing supporting policies. Industrial development is the motivation behind developments in South East Asia, Brazil and China.

In contrast to biofuels, there are currently no strong, comprehensive policy frameworks in place to support biobased materials (such as mandatory targets, tax incentives, etc.), and, as a result, these products are hindered by the lack of a stable raw material supply, low investment security and a dearth of consumer confidence. However, a variety of policies from different sectors influence biobased materials.

The trend report takes a look at global policy initiatives from the fields research and innovation, bioenergy and biofuels, industrial innovation, circular economy, waste management as well as agriculture and forestry.

Countries and regions of special focus are Europe, the U.S., China, Japan, Thailand and Brazil. The report analyses which policy frameworks can have a beneficial influence on the developments of bio-based plastics and provide positive environments to setting up bio-based businesses. Strong political support for biodegradable solutions in the packaging sector is solely found in Italy and France. In this sector, global demand for biodegradable packaging shows double digit yearly growth.

“Policies impacting bio-based plastics market development and plastic bags legislation in Europe” is available at: http://www.bio-based.eu/reports. (KL)

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