Bioplastic, derived from plants including corn, sugar cane, wood, and other natural materials, has been proposed as an eco-friendly solution for a world that’s heavily reliant on plastic and limited in its options for reducing the resulting waste. While bioplastics currently make up only about one percent of the plastic market, a number of industry leaders, global manufacturers and environmental associations are expecting its use to grow significantly over the next five years, and that could present a serious challenge to producers of petrochemicals.


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Plant Derived And Recycled Plastic On The Rise

The European Bioplastics Association is expecting use of bioplastic to rise at least fifty percent by 2023. With manufacturers like Lego and Coca-Cola adopting bioplastic for the production of their products and an increase in the use of recycled plastics in a range of consumer products, researchers are confident that demand for virgin plastics with decline. Petroleum companies, however, see a clear need to shift more of their resources toward plastics.

Oil Shifts Toward Petrochemical

The International Energy Agency has predicted oil demand from passenger vehicles to decrease by 2040—dependent on the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Many oil companies see the need to expand their petrochemical production as a result. As the petrochemical industry seeks to boost their investment in the manufacture of petroleum-based plastics to make up for the decline in the demand for oil in transportation, they may find growing competition from alternative plastic producers.

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Big Names In Alternative Plastics

BASF, Coca-Cola, and Stora Enso are a few major alternative plastic producers that could eventually provide considerable competition in the production of various single-use products, such as bottles and food packaging, as well as a range of commercial goods including toys, synthetic fabrics, and more.


What are your thoughts on the potential rise in the use of bioplastics and the impact it could have on the petrochemical industry? Comment and tell us what you think.

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