Number one in production, but number two in consumption. That's because Europe is more advanced in requiring materials that help reduce carbon footprint. Cereplast operates a substantial bioplastic compounding plant in Indiana, but most of its sales are in Italy.
Bioreactors using waste biomass as the feedstock--we've come full circle! And of course, with every major plant like this comes all the hoopla surrounding environmental impact, etc. Glad to hear, though, that the USA is #1 in bioplastic production. That's encouraging.
There are plenty of big bioplastics production operations in the US: DuPont, Tate & Lyle, ADM, and Metabolix for example. Corn is the feedstock of choice in the USA because of its abundance and government support. Future bioreactors in the USA are likely to use waste biomass as the feedstock. Economics to be determined.
You have a point, Beth. It would be good to see this type of development in the United States. If not sugar cane, there are certainly other crops that could be productive. At any rate, it's a shame this kind of cool project isn't getting done in Dow's home state of Michigan. They could use the boost.
Interesting that sugar cane has such potential in the development of biopolymers and definitely a big win for Brazil's economy. Too bad there wasn't some secret source of sugar cane that would land such a plant (and jobs) on US soil.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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