Plastic Molding is entering a new era: Biodegradable Plastics
As the awareness of climate change increases, the use of biodegradable plastics should rise, dramatically. In Europe and Japan research and development are already progressing quickly.
There are several US companies who produce biodegradable plastic. They are Natureworks LLC, Metabolix, and Teinnovations. All of these companies are in the forefront of developing injection molding grade plastic. DuPont also has two corn based plastics on the market already: Sorona and Hytrel.
Companies with an eye to future trends, as well as those who are concerned about the environment, are beginning to take biodegradable plastics very seriously.
What does this mean for a custom molder or moldmaker?
As society awakens to the need for earth-friendly manufacturing, the demand for biodegradable plastics will only increase. Those plastics manufacturers who are “in the know” will have a distinct competitive advantage.
Climate change, greenhouse gases, global warming, the closing of landfills, sustainable development, these are just a few of the reasons plastics manufacturers are looking to “green plastics” for solutions.
Plastic molding companies in Europe and Asia have embraced this emerging technology in order to compete and comply with regulations , as well as help the natural environment. The short-term advantage of “business as usual” in the US is gradually changing into a more socially responsible approach.
Companies that have positioned themselves for the possible coming age of “green plastics” will be in a great position to profit. Time spent learning about bio-plastics and the potential can be a very smart move.
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Presently biopolymers can still be considered a niche market, especially in the US. It is only a matter of time before American legislation makes way for increased use of biopolymers.
Biopolymers is booming in Europe, where official policy is more conducive to environmental issues. The expected global capacity growth is predicted to almost double by the year 2010.
This represents a huge emerging market for injection molded products using biopolymers. Already, there are many applications gaining momentum, such as packaging, bottles, caps, food containers, catering items such as cutlery, and so on.
Numerous companies are competing to develop improved characteristics such as flow and melt temperatures. These innovations will increase exponentially in the near future, if recent trends continue.