The need for organic plastics is growing explosively. It is expected that the worldwide production capacity will quadruple over the next five years. In 2019 80 percent of this global organic plastic production will consist of organic based raw materials. Organic plastics are all the rage and this offers the Netherlands a lot of opportunities. Thanks to its industrial expertise, extensive beet sector, central location and strong infrastructure, the Netherlands has an excellent competitive position in this promising, growing market. This was concluded by ABN AMRO in the report 'The Netherlands can lay the base for an organic based economy', which was published on Wednesday 25 November.
Demand for organic plastics growing explosively
For the last five years organic plastics have been conquering the market at a rapid pace. ABN AMRO believes that this impressive growth is a result of the changing view of consumers, government and companies on sustainability. Organic plastics were sold to the consumer as 'biodegradable', but were only industrially degradable or as ' organic based and therefore green', but not degradable. This image is now changing rapidly. One of the main drivers behind the increasing use of organic based raw materials is the rise of the circular economy, according to ABN AMRO. This is changing the properties that raw materials have to have: instead of being as degradable as possible, they now have to be as reusable as possible. Companies like Coca-Cola and Ikea are at the head of this. All plastics in IKEA products should be manufactured from 100% recycled raw materials or bio mass by 2020. Coca-Cola launched their first bottle made completely from organic plastics in 2015.
Green 2.0: from biodegradable to reusable plastics
This new view on sustainability has led to a quick acceptance of the so-called drop-ins: plastics that are made based on biomass, but are chemically identical to popular plastics based on fossil fuels, according to ABN AMRO. In contrast to fossil fuels, biomass is renewable and cannot be exhausted. The current generation of drop-in organic plastics also fits effortlessly into existing production and recycling processes. ABN AMRO thinks that the market has enthusiastically embraced drop-in organic plastics for this reason.
The Netherlands as leader of organic based economy
The Netherlands has good assets to play a leading role in the creation of an organic based economy. "Besides an excellent infrastructure and a high level of knowledge there is a lot of industrial activity in our country. There are various companies that can process organic based plastics into a product," says David Kemps, Sector Banker of Industry for ABN AMRO. "Our infrastructure also lends itself excellently for the sugar beet industry, which can be inflated after the abolition of the sugar quota in 2017. This will mean our country will have more than enough raw materials for the production of organic based plastics. This is good news for the Dutch agricultural sector, which will be able to strengthen its position due to the extra application of sugar beets in organic plastics."
Read the full report here
David Kemps, Sector Banker Industrie
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