Barriers to lie on road of bio degradable plastics


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Barriers lie on the road of bio-degradable plastics’ development, according to CCM International’s June issue of Biomaterials China News.

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Barriers to lie on road of bio degradable plastics

  1. 1. Barriers to Lie on Road of Bio-degradable PlasticsSummary: Barriers lie on the road of bio-degradable plastics’ development, according toCCM International’s June issue of Biomaterials China News.Tags: biomaterial, bio-degradable plastic, plastic, PLA, polylactic acid, PE, polyethylene, recycledplasticMore and more businessmen, politicians and citizens turn their sights on the bio-degradableplastics due to the shortness of fossil fuel and serious living condition. Also, domestic bio-materials have gained excellent score both in production capacity and technology. But will bio-degradable plastics have a smooth sail in the future? Maybe there are barriers lying on the roadof bio-degradable plastics development, according to CCM International’s June issue ofBiomaterials China News.High Price leads to small marketChina has the largest population and now Chinas technology is close to that of westerndeveloped countries. However, China is still considered as a huge production base, but not aconsumer market.For the public, bio-degradable plastic sounds like a luxury. Take the food-grade film forexample,PLA (polylactic acid) ,the most popular bio-degradable plastic, can be sold forUSD4,740/t, while price of PE (polyethylene, one of the most general plastics) is only aboutUSD1,896/t. Expensive price makes bio-degradable plastic invisible in general activity and dailylife though it can attract many peoples sight in large exhibition. Only some famous companies,like Coca-Cola and McDonald, who want to bear more social responsibility, have used bio-degradable plastic as their raw material.Mr. Dan Sawyer, Manager of NatureWorks LLC in the Asia-Pacific region, said on April 19, 2012that the quantity of consumed PLA worldwide increased by 20%, but regions responsible for theincrease are Europe and America. In 2005, they entered into the Chinese market, and in 2011,their sale quantity is still about 4,000t, while the capacity of NatureWorks is 140,000t/a.Domestic leading enterprises of bio-degradable plastics, such as Wuhan Huali, GuangdongShangjiu, Kingfa, etc., complained about the similar problem, expressing that domestic bio-degradable plastic market is very small.
  2. 2. New Market is difficult to expandBesides expensive cost, Mr. Hu, Chief Scientist of Wuhan Huali, explained that the difficulty toexpand market has tormented bio-degradable plastic salesmen for a long time. He said thatdomestic companies have already formed a fixed network by purchasing and selling, while as anew product, bio-degradable plastic is still difficult to enter their network, for most enterprises areafraid to bear extra risk and don’t want to break down the cooperation with their traditionalpartners.Attacks from low-end products and fake commoditiesAttributed to governments weak regulation, many cheap fake commodities disturbed the market.When Wuhan Huali tried to expand market, they often have to face the situation exactly as whatssaid by Mr. Hu, "it just needs some recycled plastic and some calcium carbonate to produce fakecommodities which are similar to ours, but these fake commodities can be sold at a very cheapprice. If fake commodities can’t be banned effectively, the real environmental bio-degradableplastic industry will not have a bright futrue, which is dangerous (for the industry) at present.R&D expenditure is insufficientInnovation is the key factor for a company’s development, especially for those high technologyindustries, such as bio-degradable material. And private enterprises are an important source forinnovation as they are sensitive to new technology and new market. But in China, most privateenterprises’ R&D expenditure is insufficient. Mr. Bian, Senior Engineer of Shenghong Group,says that the R&D in China is just about how to make new technology applicable to industrialproduction, and one reason is that their R&D expenditure is limited by company’s budget, theother reason is that they dare not to start a long-term research since they are afraid of marketchanges. Mr. Hu, Chief Scientist of Wuhan Huali, who has been engaged in ChemicalDepartment of Natural Science Foundation Committee, says that Chinese government shouldpublish more policies to encourage colleges and research institutes conducting application andmass production research, as private companies are not able to apply for NSFC (Natural ScienceFoundation of China).Raw material needs reformationChina has a huge population with relatively little land resources. Undoubtedly, Chinesegovernment has to restrict food and grain application on non-food industries to guarantee
  3. 3. domestic food supply. Nevertheless, corn and some grain crops which have abundant starch arestill important raw materials of bio-degradable plastic, the problem may not have stood out yet.The total food-and-grain usage in this industry is not huge now. However, once bio-degradableplastics become main material in the future, the problem can’t be ignored. Luckily, straw andother organic waste can replace grain crop as raw material. Corn deep processing industry canbe a reference for the select of raw material, as corn deep processing industry consumed toomuch corn, which promotes corn price. At last, government published a serious of policies tosqueeze their profit continuously.Process technology is not matureThrough the development of several centuries, the process technology of fossil fuel plastics isvery mature, and fossil fuel plastics can be widely used in almost all industries. But bio-degradable plastics still have many disadvantages, especially in process technology, which leadsto bio-degradable plastics’ application focusing on package, medicals and disposable table ware.Recycle and degradation may require a new systemIn fact, most degradable plastics can’t decompose in nature environment. For example, PLA mayexist 100 years or more without controlled-composting environment, which is made up of specialfacility, special microbe, and temperature of 60 celsius degree for more than 10 days. Besides,garbage workers can’t distinguish PLA from PET efficiently. A new system is required to recyclePLA, according to the dilemma on PLA’s recycle in America in 2009 that rubbish recycle stationrefused people to use PLA bottlers since PLA can bring great trouble for American RubbishRecycling System that USA has spent 20 years on the system’s construction.Though the bio-degradable plastic industry still has many problems to be solved, it’s still a greatprogress to decrease the rely on fossil fuel and strengthen environmental protection. The currentsituation is that more problems may be hidden, since the industry has just taken its first step.Nevertheless, the overseas market demand is greatly over its capacity, so the domestic marketpotential is predicted to be great in the future.Source: Biomaterials China News 1206 content of Biomaterials China News 1206:Barriers to lie on road of bio-degradable plastics
  4. 4. Numerous bio-material enterprises enter agriculture film marketDevelopment of PLA recycle in ChinaPBS may enjoy bright future in ChinaKingfa tries to double its sales within four yearsDomestic first low-temperature special water soluble fiber successfully developedJAAS successfully developed degradable straw potCorn stock of northeast ports continues risingPrice of global wheat may be pushed to a higher record due to drought……(Guangzhou China, June 12, 2012)Biomaterials China News, with 12 to 14 topics in one issue, published on the 8th every month,will bring you the latest information on the latest market dynamics, company dynamics, newbiomaterials products, new biomaterials technology development, new legislations and policiesand raw material supply dynamics that are shaping the market.About CCMCCM is dedicated to market research in China, Asia-Pacific Rim and global market. With a staff ofmore than 150 dedicated highly-educated professionals. CCM offers Market Data, Analysis,Reports, Newsletters, Buyer-Trader Information, Import/Export Analysis all through its newproprietary product ValoTracer.For more information, please visit International Ltd.Guangzhou CCM Information Science & Technology Co., Ltd.17th Floor, Huihua Commercial & Trade Mansion, No.80 Xianlie Zhong Road, Guangzhou510070, ChinaTel: 86-20-37616606Email: econtact@cnchemicals.comSource: