Circular economy expert: Bioplastics may fix plastic’s image


In Germany, head of the IKK Institute for Plastics and Circular Economy at Leibniz University of Hanover claims biobased plastics could help repair the negative perception consumers have of plastics.

“Plastics have their bad image not only because they are related to petrochemistry, but also on account of their longevity. From the product point of view this is an advantage, but in terms of waste it is seen as a drawback,” Hans-Josef Endres, tells Plastics News ahead of plastics mega-conference K-show. Biobased plastics are also climate-neutral, he adds. “[E]ach plant absorbs as much CO2 in its lifetime as it emits when it is burned or it decomposes.”

Endres also notes that criticism that bioplastics feedstocks compete with food is “too sweeping…If you manufactured the 350 million tonnes of plastics produced every year completely from bio-based materials, you would need about 5 percent of the available acreage.”