Another replacement for oil

Think we need oil to make everything that is plastic? Nope. According to researchers at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, up to 90% of the total plastic demand in 2007 (270 Mt) can be replaced with bio-based plastics. What is possible and what will actually happen of course are two very different things- however technical feasibility is of course the first major step. Annual growth rates of bio-based plastics are forecasted at approximately 37% thru 2013. Learn more about the study at the following link:

B Plastics

Growth rate of Bio-Plastics


  1. Sascha K · November 10, 2009

    Brett, interesting post. Do you know which VC firms are targeting this space or is this mainly at Uni-research level at present. Given the growth rates, who would be main benefitor? What is the cost differential between traditional and bio-based plastic per unit? Break-even analysis: what measures are being used? Cheers, Sascha

  2. brettalan · November 10, 2009

    I think bioplastics offers the same benefits and risks as do biofuels- because they require growth from crops, still have a carbon footprint (energy to grow crops and produce), compete with food for land yet alleviate some petrol use. It currently has a small % of the overall plastics market, is more expensive than traditional plastic but offers smart companies an opportunity to improve it and make a great profit. This technology is both at the univ. level and start up level- and I have little info on what VC activity is occurring. But- check out this article about Cereplast- it reminds me of when folks started figuring out corn based ethanol wasn’t so good.

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