22. Aug 2023
The increased adoption and production of bioplastics can create jobs across various sectors. In the EU, approximately 15,000 jobs were created this year because of the bioplastics industry. From research and development to manufacturing and production, there are attractive careers in bioplastics that are interesting to pursue.
Global market demand for bioplastics is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.8% driven by increasing concerns of sustainability, regulatory pressures, population increases, technological investments, and circular economy focus. The increased adoption and production of bioplastics can also create jobs across various sectors. In the EU, approximately 15,000 jobs were created this year because of the bioplastics industry. From research and development to manufacturing and production, there are attractive careers in bioplastics that are interesting to pursue.
Product Design and Development
The creation of innovative and sustainable products that use biodegradable or biobased materials is vital in the bioplastics industry. Therefore, a career in this field combines a design expertise with a deep understanding of the unique properties and characteristics of organic plastics. Product designers and developers focus on creating products that leverage the benefits of bioplastics while meeting functionality and sustainability goals. For example, one of the careers in the industry is to become a sustainable product engineer. The engineer will focus on crafting new products or modifying existing ones using technical skills, innovation, and knowledge about materials science and manufacturing processes. Thus, a solid understanding of chemistry and other subjects is essential to apply materials science and manufacturing processes. Although studying sciences can become challenging, students can accelerate learning by subscribing to Proprep's course support videos as additional tutorials and guides.
Another exciting career option in the industry is to work as a sustainable materials designer. On top of developing new bioplastics materials that are eco-friendly, the designer must also conceive goods and articles that are functional and visually appealing. Sustainable materials designers work together with industries such as fashion and packaging to come up with novel and aesthetically-pleasing bioplastics products.
Circular Economy and Waste Management
The circular economy in bioplastics is vital to reduce waste and manage resources responsibly. Professionals who specialize in the circular economy may take on specific roles and responsibilities within the field. For example, a circular economy specialist emphasizes strategies for designing products and systems that promote reuse, recycling, and reducing waste while a packaging professional will develop wrapping solutions for goods that can be used again, composted, or salvaged.
If assuming the role of a waste reduction strategist, expect focus on minimal waste generation, improvement of material efficiency, and enhanced recyclability or compostability of bioplastics products. Working as a green supply chain analyst is a challenging career as well studying supply chain practices to identify opportunities for incorporating circular economy principles. Sourcing, manufacturing, distribution and end-of-life management are possible focus areas of these types of professionals. One can also specialize in bioplastics lifecycle analysis. There professionals will scrutinize the entire life span of organic plastics from sourcing raw materials to end of life. A life cycle assessment (LCA) will quantify the environmental impact of bioplastics at different stages of their life span inclusive of factors like resource consumption, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.
The bioplastics industry is growing and with it, career opportunities also arise for individuals to work in different fields. Jobs that spotlight product design and development as well as the circular economy and waste management are exciting fields that offer professionals the opportunities to make a positive impact on the environment while working on cutting-edge technologies.
By Cindy Trillo
Photo [m] Gerd Altmann (Pixabay)