China eyes biodegradable plastics amid pollution concerns

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In China, production of biodegradable plastics from corn and sugarcane are increasing as the country cracks down on pollution and bans on single-use plastics loom.

“We see great potential for PLA [plastics] in China, mainly in textiles, packaging and automotive,” Frederic van Gansberghe, chief executive of Galactic, which is building a PLA plant in China,” tells South China Morning Post.

Lydia Lau, business development manager for bioplastic maker Ecovio, likewise expects demand in China to grow as the nation’s government cracks down on plastic waste, and Lou Zhongping, founder and chairman of Saton Daily Necessities, is spending US$15 million at his Yiwu, Zhejiang plant to switch straw manufacturing to biodegradable alternatives made from polylactic acid.

IHS Markit expects China, which currently produces almost a third of plastic globally, to increase bioplastic production by 15%/year through 2022.