Thailand targets top spot in bioplastics

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In Thailand, efforts are underway to significantly ramp up bioplastics production using the nation’s significant sugar output as feedstock.

Plastics Institute of Thailand Executive Director Kriengsak Wongpromrat tells Plastics Today that the country produced 17 million tons of sugar in 2018, ultimately exporting 11 million tons.

“Taking 100,000 tonnes for the production of polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer is not going to affect the supply of sugar for food applications, especially since consumption of sugar may be adversely affected by a ‘sweet tax’ that Thailand plans to introduce,” he adds.

The nation also produces large amounts of rice, palm oil, tapioca, and cassava—all sources commonly used in biobased production.

“Many converters realize that with plastic bag bans being implemented globally, now is the time to exploit bioplastics, and we are seeing a lot of interested,” he adds.