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Author Topic: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?  (Read 3507 times)

Offline CaptMoldman

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Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« on: 29/07/2015 17:21:19 »
I was just reading about Coca Cola's PlantBottle and I was wondering why bioplastics remain pretty rare in the manufacturing industries. Is it that the science is too new? I can't imagine it's too costly as it looks like Coca-Cola profited quite nicely from the switch to bioplastics. Maybe the start-up costs for going into bioplastics are too high? I'd have to also imagine there were products where bioplastics just can't facilitate the structural integrity needed at this stage in our understanding. I'd love to hear additional theories and/or facts.
« Last Edit: 29/07/2015 17:37:00 by chris »


 

Offline chris

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #1 on: 29/07/2015 17:39:37 »
I think it's all down to cost; a standardised, de-novo, freshly-made bottle is easier to quality control and quality assure and gives a consistent product.
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #2 on: 29/07/2015 19:18:56 »
I just looked up the entry on "bioplastics" and found a plethora of such materials in common use. How do you define "scarce".

I must remind the gentle reader that the essence of the scientific method is to gather data before engaging the mouth. That is what separates scientists from people like politicians.
 

Offline CaptMoldman

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #3 on: 30/07/2015 19:10:19 »
Hi, Pecos, I recommend you take at least a spoonful of your own advice. The plastics industry is immense. The amount of companies using bioplastics is still just a drop in the ocean.
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #4 on: 30/07/2015 20:27:03 »
How long? How long? How long must I expound the simple act of showing your source when you have the temerity to try to refute Pecos Bill?

Talk is cheap, Hoss. Show me what you've got.

Here is what <<I>> have...(They don't call 1.6 million tons "a drop in the ocean" even in Texas)

"The global production capacity for bioplastics amounted to around 1.6 million tonnes in 2013. Following the technical trial facilities at the beginning of the 1990s and the subsequent upscaling phase, industrial-scale capacity has now been achieved. As more facilities go on-stream, production of bioplastics is projected to increase to approximately 6.7 million tonnes by the year 2018.

By far the strongest growth will be in the biobased, non-biodegradable bioplastics group. Especially the so-called ‘drop-in’ solutions, i.e. biobased versions of bulk plastics like PE and PET, that merely differ from their conventional counterparts in terms of their renewable raw material base, are building up large capacities. Leading the field is partially biobased PET, which was accounting for approximately 40 percent of the global bioplastics production capacity in 2013. This bioplastic will continue to extend its lead to approximately 5 million tonnes by 2018. That would then correspond to 75 percent of the total bioplastics production capacity.

But also biodegradable plastics are demonstrating impressive growth rates. Their production capacity will increase by two-thirds by 2018. Leading contributors to this growth will be PLA and PHA." (1.)

(1.)  http://en.european-bioplastics.org/market/market-development/production-capacity/
 

Offline CaptMoldman

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #5 on: 30/07/2015 23:28:46 »
I'll give you this much, after doing some more research into the numbers, I was surprised by the results. I'll take back the word "scarce" and replace it with "minority."

This factsheet estimated (in 2010 admittedly) the global production capacity at  327,000 tons (http://www.nnfcc.co.uk/publications/nnfcc-renewable-polymers-factsheet-bioplastics [nofollow]). 

Global consumption of flexible packaging at the same time was approximately 12.3 million tons (https://books.google.com/books?id=bGLxCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA325&lpg=PA325&dq=Global+consumption+of+flexible+packaging+is+approximately+12.3+million+tons.&source=bl&ots=rt6GxlGlr1&sig=j7HpNwcgqqTPATkI7opdF_jdWgs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAWoVChMI1MyS4fKDxwIVFimICh0YJwqJ#v=onepage&q=Global%20consumption%20of%20flexible%20packaging%20is%20approximately%2012.3%20million%20tons.&f=false [nofollow]).


 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #6 on: 31/07/2015 00:26:14 »
Thank you.

As in Science- as in life. Numbers talk.

Market share for bioplastics will surely increase once the world realises that petroleum is a valuable chemical feedstock which is currently being wasted so insufferable buffoons like that Clarkson person can play with cars.
« Last Edit: 31/07/2015 00:28:03 by Pecos_Bill »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #7 on: 31/07/2015 09:35:15 »
What else would you do with petroleum, apart from making durable plastics and flammable fuels? The quantity that goes into pharmaceuticals is small in comparison (yes, here are the numbers: last year I consumed one aspirin and about 1000 gallons of diesel and  AVGAS, and bought about 10 pounds of durable plastic - most of which claimed to be recycled).

I fully support your remarks about innumerate politicians. The problem is that they are preaching to an innumerate public. The carrier bag tax is very popular among ecofascists at all levels, but a supermarket carrier bag is made principally from industrial offcuts that would otherwise go to landfill, and it usually contains 20 - 50 times its own weight of  nonrecyclable virgin plastic packaging that is not taxed.
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #8 on: 31/07/2015 17:18:50 »
"ecofascists" you say?

No doubt the people who made it illegal to have a jakes in your garden as opposed to indoor plumbing would have been called "ecofascists" by a certain cohort of people in their day.

I fail to see why filling the landfills with refuse that will persist for thousands of years to accommodate people who are too (a.) lazy (b.) ignorant and (c.) indifferent to the common good forms a basis for decent people to utter insults.

Also free plastic bags induce the weak minded to buy a load of schlock they don't need at Tesco.

When the government uses taxes to coerce people into civilized behavior, I find it to be a source of innocent merriment.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #9 on: 01/08/2015 10:24:06 »
Indeed. In a world  where clean water is at a premium, fouling it and chucking it down a toilet is an act of irresponsible environmental capitalism.

Since you insist on numerate argument, why do you get upset by the 2% of (mostly recycled) plastic that gets re-used as carrier bags before being consigned to waste, and not the 98% of virgin plastic used for item wrapping that also ends up in landfill? One characteristic of fascist tactics is to select an identifiable "public enemy" to encourage unthinking herd behaviour.

I've not heard potatoes described as schlock before. But they do come pre-wrapped in heavy plastic bags.

I've offered a challenge to any politician who wants to impose a carrier bag tax on the basis that they pollute the countryside. Take a drive with me. We will collect and weigh all the plastic waste we see by the roadside. I will pay you £10 per pound for supermarket carrier bags and you pay me £1 per pound for everything else. I will make a fortune in the first hour.  If you add glass, rubber, cans and mattresses, you will be bankrupt by the end of the day.
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #10 on: 11/08/2015 20:41:36 »
The point is that they << don't >> buy potatoes. They buy diabetogenic potato chips and all manner of overpackaged schlock that they can just shlep into the boot of the car -- and then throw out.

Some people are self-absorbed twits who could care less about their community. In America we call them. "Republican voters".
 

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Re: Why are Bio-Plastics scarce in manufacturing?
« Reply #10 on: 11/08/2015 20:41:36 »

 

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