A quiet revolution is taking place in packaging plastics: the use of biodegradable plastics is growing every day. Consumers are becoming more and more willing to pay a bit extra, and are recycling plastics at an increasing rate.
New product lines are making use of consumer interest to increase sales and help the environment at the same time. The increasing use of organic food also provides an excellent market for bioplastics.
In Europe and Japan, packaging plastic has developed to a much greater extent than in the USA. This is certain to change soon.
How can a molder or moldmaker benefit from this?
In today’s ever changing marketplace, you must be alert and aware of trends and developments. Packaging plastics is changing to be “greener” and this represents an opportunity for profit. At the same time, it truly helps the environment by reducing the use of petroleum based plastics.
Increasingly, consumers are willing to pay extra for biodegradable packaging. By making this part of your marketing strategy, you can be in a position to benefit as this niche market matures.
Several American companies are leading the way in developing bioplastics and it’s applications. DuPont has made a commitment to packaging plastics with it’s Biomax compostable plastic.
Appresins has formed a joint venture with ADM, the agricultural giant, to produce Mirel, a totally biodegradable plastic with a variety of applications.
Algix has joined with Cargill to produce PLA, the polymer used to make corn-based plastic. They have a very informative section on how this process is accomplished.
Blow molding, injection molding, extrusions, and film can benefit
As biopolymers grow in use and are developed to be increasingly flexible in application, the variety of products is constantly expanding.
More and more companies are making products using these compostable plastics with great success. Bottles, cutlery, and fast-food packaging have been some of the mainstays, but this is changing.
The automotive industry is currently making more and more components out of bioplastics. Toyota, Mazda, and other car makers are some of the leaders. The landscape is rapidly changing for the use of bioplastics, many predict it to be one of the fastest growing industries in the near future.