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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1303

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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1303

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Did you know Did you know…? …about meat by Stephan Piotrowski nova-Institute Huerth, Germany kg meat per capita and year 140.0 120.0 100.0 80.0 60.0 40.0 20.0 0.0 2000 2003 2006 2009 2012 2015 2018 2021 2024 USA China Indiana Fig. 1: Per capita meat consumption in the USA, India and China (Source [1]) m 2 /kg 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Beef 34,5 (28-50) Pork 11 (9-13) Chicken 9 (8-10) Wheat 1,5 Fig. 2: Land use for livestock products (in m 2 /kg of product) (Source [2, 3]) The per capita meat consumption in the USA amounted to about 108 kg per year in 2012 [1]. The projection of FAPRI [1] until 2025 is that this level of consumption will rise only slightly to about 109 kg/year. This meat consumption level, one of the highest in the world, can be regarded as a kind of saturation level. If this consumption level would prevail in the whole world, this would equate to about 720 million tonnes of meat per year today (6.7 billion people) or about 1 billion tonnes in 2050 (given the UN population projection of 9.3 billion people by 2050). Currently, global meat consumption amounts to about 270 million tonnes, so that consumption would rise by almost 3 times today or almost 4 times by 2050. The current meat consumption demands about 60% of harvested agricultural biomass worldwide as feed. Assuming that this level of feed use is already the limit today, taking into account the already high competition for other biomass uses, mankind would therefore need today almost 2 more planets to satisfy the world’s appetite for meat. In addition to the total meat consumption, the kind of meat also plays an important role on the required land. Beef for example requires about twice as much land as pork or chicken. Looking out into 2050, approximately 40% yield increases are projected by the FAO for most arable crops. Ignoring all other influencing factors, two more planets may therefore still suffice to provide enough meat to the world. However, this calculation disregards, among many more, one important aspect: The increasing demand for food, energy and materials not only due to a growing world population, but also per person due to economic development and higher living standards. Eat more chicken! [1] Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) 2012 [2] M. de Vries, I.J.M. de Boer; Comparing environmental impacts for livestock products: A review of life cycle assessments; Livestock Science 128 (2010) 1–11; Elsevier [3] Jørgen E. Olesen: Scenarios of land use in Denmark under climate change, Aarhus University, Denmark; bit.ly/17oWTa0 (image: iStock: Chris3fer) 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/13] Vol. 8

Report New data on land-use Feedstock required for bioplastics production accounts for only a minimal fraction of global agricultural area. The surface required to grow sufficient feedstock for today’s bioplastic production is less than 0.006 % of the global agricultural area of 5 billion hectares. This is the key finding published recently by European Bioplastics, based on figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and calculations of the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (IfBB, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hanover, Germany). In a world of fast growing population with an increasing demand for food and feed, the use of feedstock for non-food purposes is often debated controversially. The new brochure Bioplastics - facts and figures recently published by European Bioplastics, moves the discussion on to a factual level. Of the 13.4 billion hectares of global land surface, around 37% (5 billion hectares) are currently used for agriculture. This includes pastures (70%, approximately 3.5 billion hectares) and arable land (30%, approximately 1.4 billion hectare). These 30% of arable land are further divided into areas predominantly used to grow crops for food and feed (27%, approximately 1.29 billion hectares), as well as crops for materials (2%, approximately 100 million hectares, including the share used for bioplastics), and crops for biofuels (1%, approximately 55 million hectares). Minimal fraction of land used for bioplastics European Bioplastics market data depicts production capacities of around 1.2 million tonnes in 2011. This translates to approximately 300,000 hectares of land-use to grow feedstock for bioplastics. In relation to the global agricultural area of 5 billion hectares, bioplastics make use of only 0.006 %. Metaphorically speaking, this ratio correlates to the size of an average cherry tomato placed next to the Eiffel Tower. No competition to food and feed A glance at the global agricultural area and the way it is used makes it abundantly clear: 0.006 % used to grow feedstock for bioplastics are nowhere near being in competition with the 98 % used for pastures and to grow food and feed. According to European Bioplastics, increasing the efficiency of feedstock and agricultural technology will be key to assuring the balance between land-use for innovative bioplastics and land for food and feed. The emergence of reliable and independent sustainability assessment schemes will also contribute to this goal. www.european-bioplastics.com Source: European Bioplastics | Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (October 2012) / FAO bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/13] Vol. 8 11

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