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Bioplastics Use Surges, Despite Economy

The bioplastics sector, consisting of plastics that either biodegrade or have bio-based components, surged last year despite the economic downturn, according to an industry press release.

European Bioplastics, which represents European manufacturers, released the results of a survey of its members asking what sort of growth they experienced last year and what their expectations are for 2011. According to the survey, 47 percent of companies saw an increase in sales, with only 10 percent seeing sales decline last year. Some companies saw sales growth of more than 5 percent last year. Two thirds of the companies surveyed plan to increase investment next year, and 60 percent expected good to excellent results in the coming year.

According to European Bioplastics, bioplastics are being used with increasing frequency in durable products, including cell phone housing and car parts. The organization cited increasing demand for climate protection and reduced consumption of fossil fuels as drivers for the industry.

Despite recent growth, however, bioplastics still represent only 1 percent of the plastics market. The organization called for increased incentives in order to grow the market beyond its niche.

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