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News Potential of

News Potential of bioplastics – an Internet survey The German Internet portal “plasticker – the home of plastics“ asks visitors on a monthly basis for their opinion on different topical questions around plastics and the plastics industry. However this online poll is carried out in the German language only. In May 2007 the question was about the expected potential of bioplastics: “How will demand for and production of bioplastics develop in the coming 10 years?” A) They will substitute most of today‘s commodity plastics 6 B) They will play a major role in many application areas 56 C) They will remain niche products 35 D) The hype, and with it the materials, will disappear 3 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Here are the results: The general attitude was one of cautious confidence. A clear majority of those responding to the survey believe that in the foreseeable future bioplastics “will play a major role in many applications“. However only 6 percent believe that bioplastics have the potential to replace today‘s mass commodity plastics. Another significant group, accounting for about 35 percent of the replies, believes that bioplastics will not move significantly from their current position as a niche product. Those who think that bioplastics have no real future were in a clear minority, at only 3 percent. The online survey not only asked for the visitor‘s opinion, but also wanted to know which sector of the industry they were engaged in. Analysing the responses from this aspect also produced some very interesting results. In a nutshell* 74 percent of the raw materials sector (which is made up of traders and distributors, manufacturers and compounders, and plastics recyclers) expect a significant increase in the share of the market taken by bioplastics. 13 percent even went so far as to say that they would ultimately hold a dominant position in the market. This is probably because raw materials traders and manufacturers, who are sitting at the beginning of the value chain, have for longer been closely concerned with the subject than, say, most converters. They have also been forced to pay more attention to the subject of petroleum reserves. Amongst the suppliers of machinery about 50 percent expect bioplastics to play a major role and 50 percent think they will remain a niche product. Almost nobody thought that bioplastics would disappear, neither would they replace most of today‘s commodities. The biggest group, i.e the plastics processors and converters, making up 37 percent of all participants, is the most sceptical. The responses were: A:0% / B:43% / C:55% / D:2%. This could be put down to the fact that most of them have had no practical experience with bioplastics and have not been so closely concerned with the subject. Nevertheless only 2 percent of them said that they saw no long-term future for bioplastics As this online poll was only carried out in the German language, bioplastics MAGAZINE plans to expand the survey and ask all our readers and visitors to from around the world to respond to the same questions in the English language. From the beginning of June until the end of August you can give us your opinion on this question at bioplastics MAGAZINE will publish the results of this global survey in the next issue. * all detailed results of the recent German poll can be reviewed at (in German and English language). bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/07] Vol. 2

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